Congestion and road accidents are both considered essential challenges for sustainable mobility in large cities, but their relationship is only partially explored by the literature. In this paper, we empirically examine different public policies aimed at reducing urban traffic congestion but which may also have indirect effects on road accidents and casualties. We use data from 25 large urban areas in Spain for the period 2008–2017 and apply econometric methods to investigate how a variety of public policies do affect both negative externalities. Although the relationship between congestion and road safety is complex, we find that the promotion of certain modes of public transportation and the regulation of parking spaces may contribute to making cities more sustainable, both in terms of the time spent traveling and the probability of being affected by an accident. Considering whether policies addressing congestion improve or damage road safety as an indirect result is a useful approach for local policy-makers and planners in their attempt to get sustainable transportation outcomes.
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