Road Safety in urban areas in Greece during economy downturn. A before – after comparison

Konstantinos Mpogas, Pantelis Kopelias, Lampros Mitropoulos, Konstantinos Kepaptsoglou

Transport Research Procedia (ISSN:  2352-1465), Vol. 24, pp. 228–234 (2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2017.05.112
Keywords: road safety; urban areas; economic crisis; accident characteristics

Open access: DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT  Export citation: BibTeX RIS


The deep economic recession in Greece has significant effects on urban lifestyle. Negative economic conditions with serious consequences in everyday life, such as the loss of 25-30% of GDP within five years and an unemployment rate over 25% have impacts on urban mobility. Less expenditure for transportation resulted less cars on the roads, increase of public transport passengers, environmental changes in urban motorways with previous serious pollution and noise problems. At the same time, road fatalities have declined by 45% since 2009, the first year of the crisis, and over 50% since 2004.Since road safety is a crucial factor for the sustainability of urban areas, this paper presents a before – after analysis and compares the characteristics of traffic accidents before and after the financial crisis in urban areas in Greece. The results show that there is a further reduction in accidents due to the recession and the significant decline of kilometers – traveled, but certain categories of users or road types in urban areas continue to have a high accidents risk. In urban areas the reduction of fatalities is almost 10% lower than the reduction in non-urban areas. Ages between 45-64 have significant lower reduction than younger users (ages up to 34 years old) while pedestrian’s fatalities in urban areas have a reduction 5% lower than the overall reduction of fatalities. Finally, there is no significant differences between the decline of fatalities between males and females. Results confirm that urban areas are still the higher risk environment for road users, so the end of the recession can lead to a significant deterioration in road safety, if no immediate and effective measures.