Precipitation-Related Vehicle Crashes under Future Climate

Authors: Alan Black*, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Transportation Geography
Keywords: precipitation, transportation, climate change
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Weather conditions are one of several factors outside the driver’s control that can contribute to vehicle crashes. Previous studies have shown that inclement weather can lead to an increase in relative risk — the risk of motor vehicle crash, injury, or fatality relative to periods when inclement weather is absent. Meta-analysis of studies of rainfall-related crash relative risk in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States found that rainfall led to a 31–111% increase in overall automobile crash rate, with injury crash rates increasing by anywhere from 28% to 70%. However, it is unknown how the relative risk might change under future climate with an altered distribution of precipitation. High resolution daily downscaled precipitation data from CMIP5 were obtained for historical and future periods for six U.S. states and combined with historical crash data to assess changes in crash relative risk attributable to changes in future precipitation. Preliminary results indicate a small but significant increase in relative risk as precipitation regimes change under future climate that warrants additional investigation.

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