Driving in a winter wonderland

Snow has returned to the Wasatch Front, and along with it the risk of icy roads and winter-related traffic hazards. University of Utah geographer Richard Medina has studied the patterns of traffic accidents during a 2011 snowstorm in Fairfax County, Virginia, to see how the locations of accidents changed as the storm progressed. Further, he developed a predictive model that identified the most hazardous hotspots in the Fairfax urban area. Medina is now analyzing similar data in the Salt Lake area, a region more used to winter driving. “Just because people in Salt Lake are used to the snow doesn’t mean they get in fewer accidents, or are less prone to accidents,” Medina says.

Richard Medina| 801-581-8218 | richard.medina@geog.utah.edu