Impact of lockdown on road traffic casualties in Leeds

The number of people hurt in collisions on the roads in Leeds plummeted in the weeks after the city went into lockdown on 23 March.

Provisional data from Leeds City Council reveals that the overall number of casualties fell by 61% in the weeks immediately after lockdown (from 379 to 148 casualties) compared to the same dates in 2019. The number of those who were killed or seriously injured (KSI) also fell, by 50% (from 60 in 2019 to 30 in 2020).

The reduction in casualties mirrors reduced levels of traffic, which fell by 50-60% after lockdown (indicated by a line on the graph below).

“Until week 12 of 2020, the pattern of road traffic casualties largely mirrors that of 2019. But with more people staying at home during lockdown, there were obviously fewer people on the road. This is why, despite random fluctuations, the trend is clearly down,” said the Council’s Accident Studies unit.

They warn caution, however, in drawing conclusions beyond this clear overall trend. “The dataset is provisional and small, and the influence of other factors such as the level and type of traffic and changes in travel behaviour has yet to become clear.” Monitoring also reveals a slight increase in traffic in Leeds in recent weeks.

This sharp post-lockdown fall in casualties brings the overall figure for the first 22 weeks of 2020 down by 43% compared to the same period in 2019 (from 785 to 445).

Email: accident.studies@leeds.gov.uk

lockdown graph 1lockdown graph 2

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