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On the Relationship Between Congestion and Road Safety in Cities

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: We empirically examine the relationship between traffic congestion and deaths in road accidents at the city level. We use panel data from 129 large cities in Europe for the period 2008-2017. We find strong evidence of a quadratic relationship between congestion and deaths in accidents, using both parametric and non-parametric econometric techniques. The threshold point at which the relationship between congestion and deaths in accidents is reversed and becomes positive occurs when congestion results in about a 30 per cent increase in travel time compared to a free flow situation. For most congested cities, any effective measure to contain congestion may also lead to better safety outcomes.

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