Heavy metals build-up on urban road surfaces is a complex process and influenced by a diverse range of factors. Although numerous research studies have been conducted in the area of heavy metals build-up, limited research has been undertaken to rank these factors in terms of their influence on the build-up process. This results in limitations in the identification of the most critical factor/s for accurately estimating heavy metal loads and for designing effective stormwater treatment measures. The research study undertook an in-depth analysis of the factors which influence heavy metals build-up based on data generated from a number of different geographical locations around the world. Traffic volume was found to be the highest ranked factor in terms of influencing heavy metals build-up while land use was ranked the second. Proximity to arterial roads, antecedent dry days and road surface roughness has a relatively lower ranking. Furthermore, the study outcomes advances the conceptual understanding of heavy metals build-up based on the finding that with increasing traffic volume, total heavy metal build-up load increases while the variability decreases. The outcomes from this research study are expected to contribute to more accurate estimation of heavy metals build-up loads leading to more effective stormwater treatment design.