Reduced mobility during COVID-19 lockdowns means not only fewer vehicles at risk of collision, but also an opportunity to speed on empty streets. The objective of this paper is to examine the impact of the first wave of the pandemic and the first lockdown on motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) and associated injuries and deaths in Greece. Using monthly data at the regional unit level, I provide descriptive evidence and subsequently follow a difference-in-differences econometric approach, comparing trends in 2020 with those of the previous 5 years while controlling for unemployment and petrol prices. I found a steep decline in collisions, injuries and deaths compared with what would have been otherwise expected. In March and April 2020, there were about 1226 fewer collisions, 72 fewer deaths, 40 fewer serious injuries and 1426 fewer minor injuries compared with what would have been expected in the absence of the pandemic.
- public health
- motor vehicle - non traffic
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