# 13-089/VIII (2013-07-16)

Author(s)
Martin W. Adler, VU University Amsterdam; Jos van Ommeren, VU University Amsterdam; Piet Rietveld, VU University Amsterdam
Keywords:
congestion, vehicle-loss-hours, incident duration, accidents
JEL codes:
R4

Non-recurrent congestion is frequently caused by accidents and other incidents. We estimate the causal effect of incident duration on drivers’ time losses through changes in non-recurrent road congestion on Dutch highways. We demonstrate that incident duration has a strong positive, but concave, effect on non-recurrent congestion. The duration elasticity of non-recurrent congestion is about 0.40 implying that a one minute duration reduction generates a €60 gain per incident. We also show that at locations with high levels of recurrent congestion, non-recurrent congestion levels are considerably higher. At very congested locations, the benefit of reducing the incident duration by one minute is about €500 per incident. Public policies that prioritize duration reductions at congested locations are therefore more beneficial.