What are the causes of congestion crashes?


Literature reviews and in-depth studies show that, in congestion crashes on Dutch national roads, rear-end crashes are most frequent and side crashes are less frequent [5] [12] [13] [14] [15]. The causes are mainly related to insufficient distance keeping, inattentiveness, distraction and misjudgement of speed differences. Trucks are disproportionately involved in congestion crashes, and notably in rear-end crashes [16].

Research into fatal crashes on Dutch national roads in 2019 [14] shows that almost half of the fatal rear-end crashes occurred in the tail end of a traffic jam. This share seems relatively constant over the years in which the research was carried out [12] [13] [15]. At four out of ten locations where a fatal rear-end crash occurred in 2019, signalling (MTM) was operational. Four of the other six locations were known as congestion-sensitive locations. Also in 2015-2018, about half of all fatal rear-end crashes on Dutch national roads occurred in the tail end of a traffic jam, and at only one third of these locations signalling was operational.

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Traffic congestion and roadworks

Traffic congestion occurs when traffic demand exceeds road capacity, or when an incident such as a traffic crash, a vehicle breakdown occurs or Meer

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