Impact of a Lower Conservation Budget on Road Safety Indices
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Over the past few years, several countries, including Spain, have been experiencing a period of economic recession. As a result, these governments have reduced their budgets for transport infrastructures (both construction and maintenance operations).The main objective of this study is to analyze whether these budget reductions have an effect on increased accident rates and to perform an assessment of their real economic benefit. Thus, we analyze whether significant changes over recent years are perceptible in the road safety indexes in Spain, in terms of risk, accident fatality, and accident severity.The relation between lower budgets and higher road safety indices is analyzed through linear regression techniques.The results show a strong relation between the Risk Index and themaintenance budget,measured as an average of the last years. In addition, a final economic assessment demonstrates that this reduction in investment had no real economic benefits, especially as the costs of the accidents exceeded the savings in the conservation plans.
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