Road Weather Management Program
photos of lightning, trucks plowing snow, an empty road before a storm, and an evacuation
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Best Practices for Road Weather Management Version 2.0


Effects of the Provision of Wide-Area Snowstorm Information on Winter Driving


In Hokkaido, Japan, a system where road weather information is provided to drivers is in operation and under further development. With regard to visibility in snowstorm, observation data collected at ground-level observation stations have been available, but not wide-area information on the distribution of visibilities. The authors developed a method to estimate visibility from the weather conditions and applied it to the estimation of visibilities in a wide area. Such wide-area visibility information, together with snowfall information, was provided to road users on an experimental base. Sixty percent of drivers provided with this information changed their transportation behavior at some point, and over 90 percent regarded the information as effective in increasing their sense of security. This confirmed that visibility information is valuable winter-road information for drivers and that our visibility estimation method will be useful in the provision of wide-area visibility information.


85th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, Civil Engineering Research Institute of Hokkaido (Japan). For an electronic copy of this resource, please direct your request to

Date: 2006


Matsuzawa, Kajiya and Yamagiwa


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