Even a small change in the weather can bring travel to a halt in Iowa and cause traffic accidents, costly damages and even deaths. ISU transportation engineer Tom Maze is studying how to predict when weather will cause big problems. Maze says there are issues associated with weather that can make driving more dangerous and also increase travel time and our ability to calculate reliably what that time will be. It’s not just traffic he deals with, though — it’s the way travel, and weather complications, affect everything else we do. Maze says activities are becoming more “synchronous,” as freight for example needs to be delivered on time for other plans. He hopes to figure out how much that on-time planning is worth, to strike a balance between the cost of snow removal and other weather-related spending, and the value it adds to things like the delivery of freight. But he also consideres the human cost of bad weather. Weather impacts safety dramatically, as you can compare crashes in good weather with those in bad winter weather. He says they’re not only more numerous, they’re as serious, or worse during bad weather. Maze says “It’s not people just running off the road into a nice fluffy snowbank.” Like other successful researchers today, Maze has forged links with commercial sponsors who help pay for his studies. He works under an “umbrella” program called CETRI — the Center for Transportation Research and Education