Motorists’ willingness to drive through flooded roads: Evidence from a stated preference experiment

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
We conduct a stated-preference choice experiment to reveal motorists’ driving-related behavioral responses to different types of signs indicating that the road is flooded and travel costs associated with avoidance of the flooded road. We use three flood-indicating visualization treatments and control group to identify the effects of particular road signs and identify associations between drivers’ behavior and their demographic characteristics and the cost (time) of taking an alternate route. Using responses from 714 adult participants, we estimate willingness to drive additional minutes to avoid flooded roads using a random utility framework. Our results suggest that individuals are more likely to avoid flooded roads when shown flood-indicating road signs that do not indicate the exact depth of the water and signs that indicate that the water is relatively deep (more than 12 inches). We further find that individuals tend to persist in their initial choices. They often make risky choices when high risk indicating information is presented at the beginning of the decision-making process.
Flooding, Driving behavior, Data visualization