Safety Impacts of Reduced Visibility in Inclement Weather

This research seeks to better understand the ramifications of inclement weather on safety from a perspective of visibility. Visibility conditions at the time of a crash are rarely documented at a high level of detail. While vision is a key component of how drivers acquire information, a direct relationship between quantified levels of visibility and safety (in terms of crashes) should be identified. One of the factors affecting visibility is inclement weather. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), inclement weather contributed to over 13% of injury crashes and over 10% of fatal crashes in 2013. The Strategic Highway Research Project (SHRP) 2 data collected in a natural environment provide a distinct opportunity to explore the safety effects of reduced visibility. The Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) data and Roadway Information Database (RID) contain an unprecedented amount of information including kinematic measures, location with a Global Positioning System (GPS), computer vision lane-tracking, radar, video data, and detailed roadway data of the six study states. Data collected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintained airport weather stations that record visibility scores in real-time can be linked with SHRP 2 data—both data involving crashes or near-crash events and driver behavior data. Combined, this information can be used to investigate the safety effects of reduced visibility in terms of specific safety events and safety surrogate measures. This information can help practitioners more effectively design for visibility concerns and inclement weather.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Brimley, Bradford

    Das, Subasish

  • Start Date: 20160301
  • Expected Completion Date: 20161231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01598800
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety (ATLAS Center)
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC54
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: May 3 2016 3:51PM