Faculty News

Faculty News
Prof Atul Arun Pathak's paper titled, ‘Analysis of Motor Vehicle Accidents: Comparison Between Before and During the COVID-19 Lockdown in Maharashtra, India’ has been published in the SAGE journal, Transportation Research Record (ABDC "B" category). His co-authors are Shabana Chandrasekaran (Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar), Balamurugan Annamalai (Indian Institute of Management Sambalpur). To prevent the pandemic spread of human-to-human transmitted diseases such as COVID-19, governments commonly resort to countrywide or regional lockdown strategies. Such lockdowns, whenever and wherever implemented, curtail the movement of persons and vehicles, and drastically alter traffic conditions. This study focuses on the effect of drastic and sudden changes in the traffic conditions, during the COVID-19 lockdown in the State of Maharashtra in India, in March–June 2020, on the numbers of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), and the resultant fatalities and injuries. Content analysis of police-reported first information reports (FIRs) of MVAs is performed, and these lockdown trends are compared with archival data from corresponding previous (normal) periods. The statistical analysis shows that, during the lockdown, while the total number of MVAs fall drastically, they are more severe and have a much higher fatality rate per MVA. Also, the pattern of vehicles involved in MVAs, and resultant pattern of fatalities, change during lockdowns. The paper explores the reasons for these changed patterns and provides suggestions to reduce negative externalities of pandemic related lockdowns.