Analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on collisions, fatalities and injuries using time series forecasting: The case of Greece

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Accid Anal Prev. 2021 Sep 4;162:106391. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2021.106391. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

The current study aims to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on road traffic collisions, fatalities, and injuries using time series analyses. To that aim, a database containing road collisions, fatalities, and slight injuries data from Greece were derived from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (HSA) and covered a ten-year timeframe (from January 2010 to August 2020. The chosen time period contained normal operations, as well as the period of the first COVID-19-induced lockdown period in Greece. Three different Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) time series models were implemented in order to compare the observed measurements to forecasted values that were intended to depict assumed conditions; namely, without the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Modelling results revealed that the total number of road collisions, fatalities, and slightly injured were decreased, mainly due to the sharp traffic volume decrease. However, the percentage reduction of the collision variables and traffic volume were found to be disproportionate, which probably indicates that more collisions occurred with regard to the prevailing traffic volume. An additional finding is that fatalities and slightly injured rates were significantly increased during the lockdown period and the subsequent month. Overall, it can be concluded that a worse performance was identified in terms of road safety. Since subsequent waves of COVID-19 cases and other pandemics may reappear in the future, the outcomes of the current study may be exploited for the improvement of road safety from local authorities and policymakers.

PMID:34525414 | PMC:PMC8426576 | DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2021.106391