The growing population and motorization generate more movements. In many cities, the increase of population and motorization is much greater than the development of the capacity of the transportation network. For unprotected road users, the risk of getting in a traffic accident increases and the risk of being more severely injured in an accident. In March 2020, a pandemic was declared because of a Coronavirus. More people started to work/study from home to prevent the virus from spreading by avoiding unnecessary trips, gatherings, and crowded areas. Therefore, travel behaviours have shifted during the pandemic compared to previous years. This project aims to get knowledge of how mobility and traffic accidents are affected by significant shifts of travel flow, predict the effect of traffic accidents based on mobility, and evaluate the risk of travelling on a particular road segment.
Mobility data has been collected from Google Mobility, Apple Mobility, the Environmental Barometer, Trafikkontoret, and traffic accident data collected from STRADA. Mobility and traffic accident data have been analysed using Excel, QGIS, and PTV Visum Safety. The accident rates have been calculated to determine if the accident rate has changed during the pandemic, and three scenarios for 2021 have been predicted. A risk analysis model has also been used to calculate the risk of being involved in an accident on particular streets using a car, cycle, or walking.
It was found that mobility has decreased, and the usage of transportation modes has shifted. During the pandemic, it has been more popular to cycle, which is also reflected in the traffic accident data, where the percentages of cyclists being involved in traffic accidents have increased. No matter the degree of injury or transportation mode, the total number of traffic accidents had decreased in 2020. However, the number of severe accidents is almost the same as in previous years. Males are overrepresented in traffic accidents, and the differences are even more significant for 2020. In 2020, the travel speed on the roads increased, which might be due to decreased traffic volume, making it possible to drive faster. The percentage of accidents involving alcohol also increased. The results from the risk analysis show whether the risk of getting into a traffic accident on a particular street using a specific transportation mode has increased or decreased depending on the street and transportation mode. Three scenarios (better, same, worse) of the risk of travelling on the particular road stretches in 2021 have also been calculated.
To make better predictions, additional years should be considered. For future work, it would also be interesting to consider the weather since it greatly impacts the transportation mode used and the risk of accidents. The infrastructure was not considered in this project, which would be interesting since the transportation mode, route used, and speed might depend on the infrastructure and current constructions.