Surface Transportation Weather

Improving Safety, Mobility and Efficiency

Hazardous weather conditions represent a major hazard to US drivers, leading to approximately:

  • 5,748,000 vehicle crashes/yr, 22% are weather-related

  • 1,258,978 weather-related crashes

  • 445,303 injuries

  • 5,897 fatalities

  • This is 22% of crashes, 19% of injuries, and 16% of fatalities. Hazardous weather is occurring <10% of the time, thus weather is contributing to crashes at a much higher rate than by chance. Source: BAH based on NHTSA data

  • 544 million vehicle hours per year delay

  • 2.2 to 3.5 billion dollars annually is cost to trucking companies by weather-related delays. Source: Mitretek Systems

Since the late 1990s, RAL has played a pivotal national role bringing the surface transportation and weather communities together to increase traffic safety, efficiency, and mobility. Our immediate goal is to continue to work with the surface transportation stakeholders in a proactive manner to implement a research agenda that addresses national and international needs for improved surface transportation weather services for the surface transportation community and the traveling public. Currently, RAL is conducting surface transportation weather research in two main areas:

  1. Maintenance Decision–Support System (MDSS)

    RAL will work to accelerate the adoption of the MDSS technology across the nation and internationally and extend this technology by developing transportation decision support systems focusing on traffic, incident, and emergency management and maintenance beyond snow and ice control.

  2. Connected vehicles

    RAL aims to become the central focus for research and development for the weather component of Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) intelligent transportation system.

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Surface Transportation Weather