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Incident Response - Economic Benefit

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Incident Response measures showing Economic Benefit

Economic Benefit

WSDOT IR teams’ assistance at incidents resulted in millions of dollars in economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents.

The Cost of incident induced is the economic impact of delay that occurred due to incidents to which WSDOT IR crews responded. WSDOT estimates the cost of delay at $244 per minute of incident duration for non-blocking incidents and $345 per minute of blocking incidents based on research from the University of Washington’s Transportation Center (TRAC).

WSDOT estimates the economic benefit of the IR program based on the amount of incident-induced delay and secondary incidents prevented through the intervention of IR teams assisting at incident scenes. For details on methodology to calculate Economic Benefit, see WSDOT's Handbook for Corridor Capacity Evaluation (pdf 5.9 mb).

Source: Washington Incident Tracking System.

Note: Estimated economic benefits include benefits from delay reduction and prevented secondary incidents.

Multi-year trends

The cost of incident induced delay and economic benefit measures are directly proportional to the total incidents to which IR teams responds. As the total number of incidents WSDOT IR teams responded increased between 2015 and 2019—the total cost of incident induced delay and economic benefit also increased.

Annual highlights

In 2019, IR teams’ assistance resulted in approximately $102.9 million in estimated economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents. This is 5.5% more than the $97.5 million in estimated economic benefit from 2018. In 2019, cost of incident induced delay was $232.6 million, which is 5.1% higher than $221.3 million in 2018.

In 2018, IR teams’ assistance resulted in approximately $97.5 million in estimated economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents. This is 0.9% more than the $96.6 million in estimated economic benefit from 2017. In 2018, cost of incident induced delay was $221.3 million, which is 1.3% higher than $218.5 million in 2017.

In 2017, IR teams’ assistance resulted in approximately $96.6 million in estimated economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents. This is 10% more than the $87.8 million in estimated economic benefit from 2016. In 2017, cost of incident induced delay was $218.5 million, which is 10.3% higher than $198.1 million in 2016.

In 2016, IR teams’ assistance resulted in approximately $87.8 million in estimated economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents. This is 9.5% more than the $80.2 million in estimated economic benefit from 2015. In 2016, cost of incident induced delay was $198.1 million, which is 9.1% higher than $181.5 million in 2015.

In 2015, IR teams’ assistance resulted in approximately $80.2 million in estimated economic benefit to travelers and businesses in Washington by reducing congestion caused by traffic incidents and helping prevent secondary incidents. In 2015, cost of incident induced delay was $181.5 million.

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