Does temperature modify the effects of rain and snow precipitation on road traffic injuries?

Won Kyung Lee, Hye Ah Lee, Seung sik Hwang, Ho Kim, Youn Hee Lim, Yun Chul Hong, Eun Hee Ha, Hyesook Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: There are few data on the interaction between temperature and snow and rain precipitation, although they could interact in their effects on road traffic injuries. Methods: The integrated database of the Korea Road Traffic Authority was used to calculate the daily frequency of road traffic injuries in Seoul. Weather data included rain and snow precipitation, temperature, pressure, and fog from May 2007 to December 2011. Precipitation of rain and snow were divided into nine and six temperature range categories, respectively. The interactive effects of temperature and rain and snow precipitation on road traffic injuries were analyzed using a generalized additive model with a Poisson distribution. Results: The risk of road traffic injuries during snow increased when the temperature was below freezing. Road traffic injuries increased by 6.6% when it was snowing and above 0°C, whereas they increased by 15% when it was snowing and at or below 0°C. In terms of heavy rain precipitation, moderate temperatures were related to an increased prevalence of injuries. When the temperature was 0-20°C, we found a 12% increase in road traffic injuries, whereas it increased by 8.5% and 6.8% when it was <0°C and >20°C, respectively. The interactive effect was consistent across the traffic accident subtypes. Conclusions: The effect of adverse weather conditions on road traffic injuries differed depending on the temperature. More road traffic injuries were related to rain precipitation when the temperature was moderate and to snow when it was below freezing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-552
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Won-Kyung Lee et al.


  • Injuries
  • Precipitation
  • Snow
  • Traffic accidents
  • Weather


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