Predicting Hazardous Road Conditions


In a typical year, there are 1.25 million weather-related vehicle crashes in the U.S., 445,303 injuries, over 5,897 fatalities, and 554 million vehicle-hours of delay during poor weather/road conditions. Drivers need significantly improved information on pavement and weather hazards.

For states like Wyoming, severe winds occur year-round and preferentially affect freight traffic, resulting in 1000 blowovers a year. Severe winds impact roadway safety, road closure frequency, and economic stability, making it vital to warn drivers of blowover risks.


Connected Vehicle Technology – Pikalert®

With funding and support from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT), NCAR developed the Pikalert® Vehicle Data Translator that integrates vehicle-based measurements of the road and surrounding atmosphere with traditional weather data creating road and atmospheric hazard products for a variety of users. 

To help mitigate the impact of severe winds, a blowover algorithm was developed for the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s (WYDOT) Pikalert® system. This version of the algorithm will provide effective aid in route planning and issuing driver advisories or restrictions seeking to reduce the number of blowovers. The algorithm will also help with advisory issuance and road closures along state highway systems.


The Pikalert® system has been adopted by a number of organizations to push road hazard alerts to drivers in private and commercial vehicles, increasing safety on our roads and interstate highways.


Please direct questions/comments about this page to:

Amanda Anderson

Associate Scientist IV