Utah's Incident Management Team Improved Incident Response by 12.1 Percent After a Program Extension that Enabled the Use of Both Incident-related Data and Computer-Aided Dispatch Logs.

Researchers Evaluated the Benefits of An Expansion to UDOT’s Incident Management Program.

Date Posted

Analysis Of Benefits of An Expansion to UDOT’s Incident Management Program

Summary Information

Incident Management Teams (IMT) aim to respond to incidents in a timely manner and to help reduce traffic congestion. In 2018, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) expanded the size of the IMT program and reconfigured the incident-related data source to provide a higher quantity of performance measure data. This study utilized two data sources to calculate the performance measure data for the expanded program and measure the impacts of the IMT program expansion. The first one was a new data source used to log incident-related data, including lane closure data. The second one was Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) logs provided by the Utah Highway Patrol. Using these two datasets from 2018 and 2020, the study estimated the effect of the program expansion.


Performance measures studied included Roadway Clearance Time (RCT) and Incident Clearance Time (ICT), as well as Response Time (RT). These performance measures were calculated for IMT responders for 320 incidents in 2018 and 289 incidents in 2020. In addition, data regarding the affected volume (AV) associated with incidents, the excess travel time (ETT) accumulated due to incidents, and the excess user cost (EUC) associated with incident congestion were gathered. In 2018, 188 incidents were analyzed for these user impacts, and in 2020, 144 incidents were analyzed. Data collection of the traffic incidents occurred from March to August in both years on I-15, US 89, I-80, SR-87, I-215, US-6, US-40, and I-84 highways in Utah. Statistical analyses were conducted to compare IMT performance between the two years and explore the associations of the AV, ETT, and EUC with IMT.



  • The results showed that with a 208 percent increase in coverage area due to the IMT expansion, IMT was able to respond quicker to incidents. The percentage of incidents that IMTs responded to within 15 minutes of a crash occurring increased from 58.8 percent in 2018 to 65.9 percent in 2020, for a 12.1 percent improvement.
  • The statistical analyses estimated that for each minute of RT in 2020, 14.66 minutes of ETT and $394.93 of EUC were saved. These savings translated to approximately 32,985 hours of ETT and $53,315,550 of EUC, with a median response time of 15 minutes.
  • The results of the statistical analysis estimated a percent reduction in the averages of AV, ETT, and EUC, as shown in Table 1. Table 2 shows that a one-minute reduction in response, roadway clearance, or incident clearance time with associated savings in ETT and EUC. Overall, this study found that having a greater number of IMTs available does have direct benefits in reducing ETT and EUC.


Table 1: Average User Impacts for 2018 and 2020

User Impacts

2018 Average

2020 Average

Percent Reduction

AV (Vehicles)




ETT (minutes)




EUC (dollars)





Table 2: ETT and EUC Savings

One minute Reduction of:

User Impact


Response Time


14.66 Minutes

Response Time



Roadway Clearance Time


10.45 Minutes

Roadway Clearance Time



Incident Clearance Time


9.85 Minutes

Incident Clearance Time



Goal Areas
Results Type