The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Traffic Crashes in Major Cities of Texas
This research project aims to investigate if the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted crashes within the major cities of Texas. Cities with a population count of over 500,000 were selected, and the crash data from the Crash Records Information System (CRIS) was obtained. To develop a comparison baseline, the three years before the COVID-19 pandemic were also studied and analyzed. Python code was used to assist with the analysis due to the amount of data obtained. Using python, a data frame was created, merging all the data. Different data frames were then created for each analysis that needed to be conducted. Upon extracting and compiling the data, the data was exported to separate files, and graphs were created. This study analyzed crash count and fatality counts for all years. For the year 2020, the study investigated additional variables to understand what other impacts the pandemic has had. The study has found that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted crashes. Crash counts significantly decreased once the pandemic began in March 2020. On the other hand, no reliable data for traffic volume was found. Although the number of crashes decreased, traffic volume may have also reduced. There was no impact on the number of fatalities that occurred. The study also found that Motorcycle crashes increased while all other vehicle types involved in crashes decreased. Therefore, the pandemic had no impact on the number of fatalities occurring from collisions but lowered the number of crashes.