Investigating the Impact of Real-Time Weather Variables on Crash Severity along Kentucky’s Interstates: Case Studies of I-64, I-65, and I-75

Adverse weather conditions can be hazardous for driving, especially along high-speed interstate facilities. Despite the significant impact of weather on traffic safety, relatively few studies have documented the effects of real-time weather on crashes. This study investigates the impact of real-time weather-related factors on crash severity along Kentucky’s Interstate 64 (I-64), Interstate 65 (I-65), and Interstate 75 (I-75). Recent five years and four months of crashes (January 1, 2016, through April 30, 2021) along the three aforementioned interstates were collected from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Crashes were merged with real-time weather variables at the time of the crash from the Kentucky Mesonet stations. Five real-time weather-related variables were considered, namely, air temperature (°F), relative humidity (%), precipitation (in.), solar radiation (watts/m²), and wind speed (miles per hour). The three interstates were further categorized into different climate zones based on the geographic location in the state of Kentucky. The severity index “SI” (i.e., ratio of percent severe crashes to percent exposure “or the number of days for a specific weather variable threshold”) was introduced to analyze the weather-related variables. Results from the severity indices showed that crash severity increased with the increase in air temperature, relative humidity, and solar radiation along all three interstates. On the other hand, crash severity decreased with an increase in precipitation (or rainfall), likely due to drivers being more cautious. The severity index for wind speed yielded varying severity impact along the three interstates and even within the climate zone of each interstate. The association rules mining (ARM) technique was also applied to uncover associations between real-time weather variables and severe crash likelihood along Kentucky’s interstates. The findings showed that “northwest of Lexington” climate zone, air temperature, and relative humidity, among others, had significant associations with the severe crash likelihood. The study findings helped to suggest specific weather-related states to feed to dynamic message signs to enhance travelers’ safety along the interstates.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 134-147
  • Monograph Title: International Conference on Transportation and Development 2023: Transportation Safety and Emerging Technologies

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902013
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784484876
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2023 2:00PM