Taking into consideration the increasing availability of real-time traffic data and stimulated by the importance of proactive safety management, this paper attempts to provide a review of the effect of traffic and weather characteristics on road safety, identify the gaps and discuss the needs for further research. Despite the existence of generally mixed evidence on the effect of traffic parameters, a few patterns can be observed. For instance, traffic flow seems to have a non-linear relationship with accident rates, even though some studies suggest linear relationship with accidents. On the other hand, increased speed limits have found to have a straightforward positive relationship with accident occurrence. Regarding weather effects, the effect of precipitation is quite consistent and leads generally to increased accident frequency but does not seem to have a consistent effect on severity. The impact of other weather parameters on safety, such as visibility, wind speed and temperature is not found straightforward so far. The increasing use of real-time data not only makes easier to identify the safety impact of traffic and weather characteristics, but most importantly makes possible the identification of their combined effect. The more systematic use of these real-time data may address several of the research gaps identified in this research.