Road crashes in Adelaide metropolitan region, the consequences of COVID-19

Ali Soltani, Mohammad Azmoodeh, Mohsen Roohani Qadikolaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many countries instituted lockdown rules as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, however, the effects of COVID-19 on transportation safety vary widely across countries and regions. In several situations, it has been shown that although the COVID-19 closure has decreased average traffic flow, it has also led to an increase in speeding, which will indeed increase the severity of crashes and the number of fatalities and serious injuries. 

Methods: At the local level, Generalized linear Mixed (GLM) modelling is used to look at how often road crashes changed in the Adelaide metropolitan area before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Geographically Weighted Generalized Linear Model (GWGLM) is also used to explore how the association between the number of crashes and the factors that explain them varies across census blocks. Using both no-spatial and spatial models, the effects of urban structure elements like land use mix, road network design, distance to CBD, and proximity to public transit on the frequency of crashes at the local level were studied. 

Results: This research showed that lockdown orders led to a mild reduction (approximately 7%) in crash frequency. However, this decrease, which has occurred mostly during the first three months of the lockdown, has not systematically alleviated traffic safety risks in the Greater Adelaide Metropolitan Area. Crash hotspots shifted from areas adjacent to workplaces and education centres to green spaces and city fringes, while crash incidence periods switched from weekdays to weekends and winter to summer. 

Implications: The outcomes of this research provided insights into the impact of shifting driving behaviour on safety during disorderly catastrophes such as COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101581
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Adelaide
  • COVID-19
  • GLM
  • Injury
  • Traffic crash


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