Traffic Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Study of How Incident-Based Traffic Safety Metrics Changed Over Time on State Highways in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles Regions

This research examined the traffic safety impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place on California state highways from February to May 2020 in the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA) and the Los Angeles (LA) regions. This paper used police dispatch data and highway loop data to observe the vehicle miles traveled (VMT), number of incidents, and incident risk daily and during the peak hours. VMT data were used to establish four unique time periods; 2019 data were used for comparison. The analysis found that the relative reduction in incident risk (incidents per VMT) was less than the relative reduction in the number of incidents. The authors found that the reductions in VMT, number of incidents, and incident risk were not uniform across time of day between the morning peak period, evening peak period, and the daily average. The authors also found notable differences in trends between the two regions. These findings help to better understand how traffic safety metrics are changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and illuminate questions for further research.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764150
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-03043
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:21AM