Falling snow and the formation of ice and frost on Canadian roads during wintertime present significant potential impediments to safe travel. In addition, variations in pavement temperatures can create significant variations in surface traction, particularly when moisture is present on the surface, which increases the risk of vehicle collision. This results in socioeconomic costs to society in terms of human fatalities and injuries, and damages to properties. Although many road collision investigations have suggested a strong relationship between collision occurrences and surface condition, in-depth analysis of this relationship has not been undertaken. This paper studies the effect of pavement surface temperature on the hourly rates of vehicle collisions during the wintertime in the City of Ottawa. Two datasets from November 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002, were merged together and used in the analysis. The first dataset was made of the records for vehicle collisions in the City of Ottawa. The second dataset was collected from nine RWIS stations in the City of Ottawa for pavement surface temperature, pavement surface condition, and weather variables. The analysis showed that risk of vehicle collisions increases on wet pavement surface as compared to the dry pavement surface at temperature between -8°C and +8°C, and is at its maximum when the surface temperature is at -1°C The paper therefore establishes the importance of accurate prediction of the pavement surface temperature in planning winter maintenance activities with the ultimate objective of improving road safety and reducing the frequencies of vehicle collisions.

Additional Metadata
Conference Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2007: Where the Road Ends, Ingenuity Begins
Citation
Sherif, A. (Aly), & Hassan, Y. (2007). Impacts of pavement surface temperature and condition on road safety. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2007: Where the Road Ends, Ingenuity Begins.