Introduction Understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our health and safety is imperative. This study sought to examine the impact of COVID-19’s stay-at-home order on daily vehicle miles travelled (VMT) and MVCs in Connecticut.
Methods Using an interrupted time series design, we analysed daily VMT and MVCs stratified by crash severity and number of vehicles involved from 1 January to 30 April 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. MVC data were collected from the Connecticut Crash Data Repository; daily VMT estimates were obtained from StreetLight Insight’s database. We used segmented Poisson regression models, controlling for daily temperature and daily precipitation.
Results The mean daily VMT significantly decreased 43% in the post stay-at-home period in 2020. While the mean daily counts of crashes decreased in 2020 after the stay-at-home order was enacted, several types of crash rates increased after accounting for the VMT reductions. Single vehicle crash rates significantly increased 2.29 times, and specifically single vehicle fatal crash rates significantly increased 4.10 times when comparing the pre-stay-at-home and post-stay-at-home periods.
Discussion Despite a decrease in the number of MVCs and VMT, the crash rate of single vehicles increased post stay-at-home order enactment in Connecticut after accounting for reductions in VMT.
- motor vehicle � occupant
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Contributors All authors conceived of the study. MLD, AT and MEA coordinated data acquisition. MLD designed the study’s statistical approach and performed the data analysis. MLD, AT, MEA, AW, KB and CG contributed to an initial manuscript draft. All authors provided substantive feedback on all manuscript drafts. GL provided senior author leadership in study design and statistical decision making.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study is included in the IRB approved Connecticut Injury Surveillance System managed by the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. MVC data from the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center are publicly available (https://www.ctcrash.uconn.edu). Data pertaining to estimated daily vehicle miles traveled were accessed through the company StreetLight Data under a licensed agreement and are not available upon request per agreement.
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