Driver assessment of road weather conditions and road weather information

Niina Sihvola

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


This study investigated four issues relating to road weather conditions: (1) do the drivers receive forecast information, (2) do the drivers change their travel plans or driving behaviour because of road weather conditions, (3) how do drivers assess different road weather conditions, and (4) how do these assessments relate to weather forecasts? The data was collected via interviews at service stations and on the roadside. The road weather forecast class was poor or hazardous during 61% of the time the interviews were taking place. About 75% of respondents rated the road weather conditions to be poor or hazardous. Overall, 62% of drivers had received or looked for information on weather and road conditions before and/or during the trip, typically from radio or TV. Drivers were more likely to have acquired information on weather and road conditions than other drivers if they were less experienced, they had driven for a longer time before the interview or they were on a trip they did not make frequently. In comparison with the uninformed drivers, those who had looked for or received weather forecast rated the conditions as worse, the road surface more slippery and the accident risk higher. Every fifth respondent indicated that they had changed or considered changing the travel plans for their current trip because of the road weather conditions either before the trip or during the trip. The most frequently mentioned action was allocating more time to the trip. The results indicated that it is important to inform drivers about road weather conditions. The drivers’ estimations on the road surface friction level did not correspond to the information from road weather stations and the drivers had difficulties to assess the road weather conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventYoung Researchers Seminar 2009 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 3 Jun 20095 Jun 2009


ConferenceYoung Researchers Seminar 2009
Abbreviated titleYRS


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