Incident Response - Numbers and clearance times

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Number of incidents compared to clearance times

WSDOT Incident Response personnel collect data for all incidents to which an IR team responds in the Washington Incident Tracking System. This data includes times of first awareness, arrival on scene, roadway clearance, and incident clearance, which allow WSDOT to analyze various aspects of incident duration. IR teams also record other data such as how they were notified of the incident, incident cause and how many lanes of travel were blocked.

Incidents are the total number of events that WSDOT Incident Response teams responded to, including incidents that teams were unable to locate.

Incident clearance times are the average time between the first recordable awareness of the incident (detection, notification, or verification) and the time the last responder left the scene.

For details on the methodology used to calculate, see WSDOT's Handbook for Corridor Capacity Evaluation (PDF 5.9MB).

Source: Washington Incident Tracking System.

Note: Information on Incient response measure metrics WSDOT's Handbook for Corridor Capacity Evaluation, 2nd edition, pp. 45-47

Incident numbers and duration types

Source: Washington Incident Tracking System.

Note: Information on Incient response measure metrics WSDOT's Handbook for Corridor Capacity Evaluation, 2nd edition, pp. 45-47

Performance Analysis

2023 Q3

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 11,568 incidents during the third quarter (July through September) of 2023.

On average, the IR teams responded to an incident scene every 11 minutes and 27 seconds during the quarter. There were 400 (3.6%) more incidents during the third quarter of 2023 than in the third quarter of 2022 (11,168).

Of the 11,568 total incidents:

  • 7,857 (67.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,459 (29.9%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 252 (2.2%) lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams assisted at the scene of 252 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the third quarter of 2023. This was 39 more such incidents than the same quarter in 2022—an 18.3% increase. All the incident duration categories experienced an increased response time during the quarter. As a result, the total average response time took 1.7 minutes longer, increasing from 15.8 minutes in the third quarter of 2022 to 17.5 minutes in the same quarter in 2023.

2023 Q2

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 11,055 incidents during the second quarter (April through June) of 2023.

On average, the IR teams responded to an incident scene every 11 minutes and 51 seconds during the quarter. There were 53 (0.5%) fewer incidents during the second quarter of 2023 than in the second quarter of 2022 (11,108).

Of the 11,055 total incidents:

  • 7,728 (69.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,115 (28.2%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 212 (1.9%) lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams assisted at the scene of 212 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the second quarter of 2023. This was 11 more such incidents—a 5.5% increase—than the same quarter in 2022. Also, this quarter had an unusually high number of extraordinary incidents that significantly increased the response time. As a result, it added 1.6 minutes to the total average response time, increasing it from 15.1 minutes in the second quarter of 2022 to 16.7 minutes in the same quarter in 2023.

2023 Q1

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 10,019 incidents during the first quarter (January through March) of 2023.

On average, the IR teams responded to an incident scene every 12 minutes and 48 seconds during the quarter. There were 267 (2.6%) fewer incidents during the first quarter of 2023 than in the first quarter of 2022 (10,286).

Of the 10,019 total incidents:

  • 6,889 (68.8%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,961 (29.6%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 169 (1.7%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams assisted at the scene of 169 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the first quarter of 2023. This was 27 fewer incidents—a 13.8% decrease—than the same quarter in 2022.

2022 Q4

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 10,252 incidents during the third quarter (October through December) of 2022.

This averages to IR teams responding to an incident scene every 12 minutes and 55 seconds during the quarter. There were 588 (6.1%) more incidents during the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021 (9,664).

Of the 10,252 total incidents:

  • 6,794 (66.3%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,240 (31.6%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 218 (2.1%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams provided assistance at the scene of 218 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the third quarter of 2022. This was six fewer incidents—a 2.1% decrease—than the same quarter in 2021.

2022 Q3

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 11,168 incidents during the third quarter (July through September) of 2022.

This averages to IR teams responding to an incident scene every 11 minutes and 52 seconds during the quarter. There were 738 (6.2%) fewer incidents during the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2021 (11,906).

Of the 11,168 total incidents:

  • 7,930 (71.0%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,025 (27.1%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 213 (1.9%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams provided assistance at the scene of 213 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the third quarter of 2022. This was 10 fewer incidents—a 4.5% decrease—than the same quarter in 2021.

2022 Q2

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 11,108 incidents during the second quarter (April through June) of 2022.

On average, the IR teams responded to an incident scene every 11 minutes and 48 seconds during the quarter. There were 851 (7.1%) fewer incidents during the second quarter of 2022 than in the same quarter of 2021 (11,959).

Of the 11,108 total incidents:

  • 7,985 (71.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,922 (26.4%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 201 (1.6%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams assisted at the scene of 201 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the second quarter of 2022. This was eight more incidents—a 4.1% increase—compared to the same quarter in 2021.

2022 Q1

WSDOT's Incident Response teams assisted at 10,286 incidents during the first quarter (January through March) of 2022.

On average, the IR teams responded to an incident scene every 12 minutes and 28 seconds during the quarter. There were 682 (6.2%) fewer incidents during the first quarter of 2022 than in the first quarter of 2021 (10,968).

Of the 10,286 total incidents:

  • 7,297 (70.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,793 (27.2%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 196 (1.9%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

IR teams assisted at the scene of 196 incidents that lasted more than 90 minutes during the first quarter of 2022. This was 15 fewer incidents—a 7.1% decrease—than the same quarter in 2021.

2021 Q4
Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 9,664 incidents, which was 336 (3.4%) fewer than the same quarter in 2020 (10,000).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 9,664 incidents in 17 minutes and 24 seconds, which is one minute and 36 seconds (10.1%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2020.

Of the 9,664 total incidents:

  • 6,603 (68.3%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,837 (29.4%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 224 (2.3%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 29.5% increase in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2020, while there were 2.3% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 6.4% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2021 Q3

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 11,906 incidents, which was 652 (5.8%) fewer than the same quarter in 2020 (11,254).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 11,906 incidents in 16 minutes, which is one minute and 24 seconds (9.6%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2020.

Of the 11,906 total incidents:

  • 8,364 (70.3%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,319 (27.9%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 223 (1.9%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 8.8% increase in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2020, while there were 21.6% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 0.5% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2021 Q2

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 11,959 incidents, which was 1,603 (15.5%) more than the same quarter in 2020 (10,356).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 11,959 incidents in 15 minutes and 6 seconds, which is one minute and 42 seconds (12.7%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2020.

Of the 11,959 total incidents:

  • 8,604 (71.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,162 (26.4%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 193 (1.6%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 18.4% increase in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2020, while there were 42.9% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 7.8% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2021 Q1

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 10,968 incidents, which was 2,200 (16.7%) more than the same quarter in 2020 (13,168).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 10,968 incidents in 15 minutes and 48 seconds, which is two minute and 18 seconds (17.0%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2020.

Of the 10,968 total incidents:

  • 7,813 (71.2%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,944 (26.8%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 211 (1.9%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 24.1% increase in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2020, while there were 9.9% fewer incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 19.7% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2020 Q4

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 10,000 incidents, which was 4,335 (30.2%) fewer than the same quarter in 2019 (14,335).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 10,000 incidents in 15 minutes and 48 seconds, which is one minute and 48 seconds(12.9%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2019.

Of the 10,000 total incidents:

  • 7,055 (70.6%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,772 (27.7%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 173 (1.7%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 4.8% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2019, while there were 22.7% fewer incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 33.4% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2020 Q3

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 11,254 incidents, which was 4,537 (28.7%) fewer than the same quarter in 2019 (15,791).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 11,254 incidents in 14 minutes and 36 seconds, which is one minute and 18 seconds(9.8%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2019.

Of the 11,254 total incidents:

  • 8,320 (73.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,729 (24.2%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 205 (1.8%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 3.8% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2019, while there were 28.1% fewer incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 29.4% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2020 Q2

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 10,356 incidents, which was 5,912 (36.3%) fewer than the same quarter in 2019 (16,268).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 10,356 incidents in 13 minutes and 24 seconds, which is one minute and six seconds (8.9%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2019.

Of the 10,356 total incidents:

  • 7,980 (77.1%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 2,213 (21.4%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 163 (1.6%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 9.9% increase in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2019, while there were 38.8% fewer incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 36% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2020 Q1

Statewide travel continued to decrease in response to COVID-19 and as a result incident response teams assisted at 13,168 incidents, which was 3,842 (22.6%) fewer than the same quarter in 2019 (17,010).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 13,168 incidents in 13 minutes and 30 seconds, which is one minute (8.0%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2019.

Of the 13,168 total incidents:

  • 9,729 (73.9%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,269 (24.8%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 170 (1.3%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 10.5% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2019, while there were 14.1% fewer incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 25.3% fewer incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2019 Q4

Incident Response teams assisted at 14,335 incidents, which was 351 (2.5%) more than the same quarter in 2018 (13,984).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 14,335 incidents in 14 minutes, which is 24 seconds(2.9%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2018.

Of the 14,335 total incidents:

  • 10,586 (73.8%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,584 (25%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 165 (1.2%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 6.8% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2018, while there were 5.9% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 1.6% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2019 Q3

Incident Response teams assisted at 15,791 incidents, which was 157 (1.0%) more than the same quarter in 2018 (15,948).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 15,791 incidents in 13 minutes and 18 seconds, which is 18 seconds(2.3%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2018.

Of the 15,791 total incidents:

  • 11,785 (74.7%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3,793 (24%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 213 (1.3%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 2.7% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2018, while there were 5.9% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 3.0% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2019 Q2

Incident Response teams assisted at 16,268 incidents, which was 1,235 (8.2%) more than the same quarter in 2018 (15,033).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 16,268 incidents in 12 minutes and 18 seconds, which is 12 seconds (1.6%) slower than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2018.

Of the 16,268 total incidents:

  • 12,470 (76.7%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3617 (22.2%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 181 (1.1%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 9.7% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2018, while there were 6.9% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 8.6% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

2019 Q1

Incident Response teams assisted at 17,010 incidents, which was 2,172 (14.6%) more than the same quarter in 2018 (14,838).

On average, IR teams cleared each of the 17,010 incidents in 12 minutes and 30 seconds, which is 36 seconds (4.6%) faster than the average incident clearance time in the same quarter in 2018.

Of the 17,010 total incidents:

  • 13,016 (76.5%) lasted less than 15 minutes
  • 3804 (22.4%) lasted 15-90 minutes
  • 190 (1.1%) incidents lasted more than 90 minutes

There was a 5.6% decrease in incidents lasting more than 90 minutes compared to the same quarter in 2018, while there were 10.8% more incidents lasting 15-90 minutes and 16.0% more incidents lasting less than 15 minutes.

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