With stay-at-home restrictions and social distancing rules being enforced around the world, road traffic has seen a considerable decrease in many countries as communities work to flatten the curve of COVID-19. With this in mind, the question remains – how likely is it that the significant decrease in road users could mean a reduction in road-related mortalities?
Comparethemarket.com.au has created an informative table that explores different lockdown restrictions around the world and how they could be affecting road mortality rates in local communities. Data was recorded for 15 countries to gain a measure of comparison.
Based on 2018 data from the table below, there was an average road mortality rate of 12,867 people per month in 2018 across the 15 countries selected. Some countries have seen a traffic decrease of up to 40% since restrictions started, indicating that even a 1% drop in this figure could result in 128 people staying alive.
In Australia as an example, the road mortality rate in the year ending June 2020 was the lowest it’s ever been in 10 years, with 91 less mortalities than the previous year. Although more up-to-date data is not yet available for other countries, a survey in Russia saw 85% of correspondents self-isolating at home during April, which would see a large portion of commutes suspended. By looking at such statistics, it is plausible that a considerable decrease in road fatalities could be occurring across the globe.
To represent global data, two countries per continent (excluding Antarctica) with the highest average fatalities per 100,000 people were analyzed in the table below. Three countries were chosen from Europe, Africa, and Asia to represent the world’s largest continents. The following table could be used to predict the potential number of lives that could be saved per month during lockdown with fewer drivers on the road. An interactive version can be found here.