Impact of COVID-19 spread on road safety indices of Turkey.
Little is known about the effect of the COVID-19 on road safety indicators (RSIs) in developing countries, and conducted studies provide limited information regarding this impact. These prompted the author to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on RSIs in Turkey. RSIs and related indices of Turkey between 2016 and 2020 were collected. For evaluating the impact, RSIs whose 2020 measures differed significantly from the pre-COVID era were identified using the outlier detection technique and Regression analysis. K-means clustering was used to group RSIs according to their variation patterns in the study period. Results show that COVID-19 led to significant decreases in 26 RSIs, especially ones related to non-fatal road traffic injuries. COVID-19 resulted in a significant drop in road traffic crashes and related indices. Also, considerable changes in monthly and daily fatalities and injuries in 2020 were observed. Clustering results revealed that COVID-19 significantly impacts variation patterns of studied RSIs, especially ones related to non-fatal injuries. Clustering aided in identifying affected RSIs by COVID-19, which other used methods were unable to detect. COVID-19 led to significant changes in road safety indices in Turkey. Road authorities and researchers should be aware of these significant fluctuations in road safety data.