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Effect of Snow, Temperature and Their Interaction on Highway Truck Traffic

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DOI: 10.4236/jtts.2013.31003    4,025 Downloads   8,030 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Based on statistical amount of traffic and weather data sets from three weigh-in-motion sites for the study period of from 2005 to 2009, permanent traffic counters and weather stations in Alberta, Canada, an investigation is carried out to study impacts of winter weather on volume of passenger car and truck traffic. Multiple regression models are developed to relate truck and passenger car traffic variations to winter weather conditions. Statistical validity of study results are confirmed by using statistical tests of significance. Considerable reductions in passenger car and truck volumes can be expected with decrease in cold temperatures. Such reductions are higher for passenger cars as compared to trucks. Due to cold and snow interactions, the reduction in car and truck traffic volume due to cold temperature could intensify with a rise in the amount of snowfall. For passenger cars, weekends experience higher traffic reductions as compared to weekdays. However, the impact of weather on truck traffic is generally similar for weekdays and weekends. Interestingly, an increase in truck traffic during severe weather conditions is noticed at one of the study sites. Such phenomenon is found statistically significant. None of the past studies in the literature have presented the possibility of traffic volume increases on highways during adverse weather conditions; which could happen due to shift of traffic from parallel roads with inadequate winter maintenance programs. It is believed that the findings of this study can benefit highway agencies in developing such programs and policies as efficient monitoring of passenger car and truck traffic, and plan for efficient winter roadway maintenance programs.

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H. Roh, S. Datla and S. Sharma, "Effect of Snow, Temperature and Their Interaction on Highway Truck Traffic," Journal of Transportation Technologies, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 24-38. doi: 10.4236/jtts.2013.31003.

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