Secondary accident rates on Los Angeles freeways

James E. Moore, Genevieve Giuliano, Seongkil Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


There is a prevailing assumption that Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) programs improve safety for unassisted motorists by reducing the likelihood of secondary accidents. This research identifies 84,684 accident records from the California Highway Patrol's First Incident Response Services Tracking system, and subjects these data records to a sequence of filters that check for incrementally more stringent conditions consistent with secondary accidents. This paper shows that secondary accidents on Los Angeles freeways are much less frequent than suggested in the transportation engineering literature. Avoiding secondary accidents provides only a small incentive to deploy FSPs, but the expected benefits associated with reducing already low secondary accident rates may still be sufficient to justify accounting for these costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • California
  • Costs
  • Emergency
  • Interstate highways
  • Traffic accidents


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