New Data from Lytx Shows Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mileage and Driving Risk in Chicago
-Increased mileage in trucking, distribution, and waste fleets
-Speed violations and failure to stop have increased; late response, unsafe following distance, and near collisions have declined
SAN DIEGO — Nov. 19, 2020 — Lytx®, a leading provider of video telematics, analytics, safety, and productivity solutions for commercial, public sector, and service fleets, today released new data showing the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on fleets on the road in and around Chicago.
More than nine months into the global pandemic, Lytx data analysts set out to gain a deeper understanding of the impact COVID-19 has had on Chicago-area driving risk.
The data provides insight into the changes in miles driven and how certain risky driving behaviors have become more prevalent in the months since the ‘stay at home’ order was issued across Illinois, while other risky behaviors have sharply decreased.
“By sharing these insights, we hope Chicago-area drivers and fleet managers will be better equipped to address risky driving patterns as we move into the winter months,” said Del Lisk, vice president of safety services at Lytx. “Knowledge and vigilance are paramount for fleets to stay safe and empower drivers to focus on safety as they keep our country moving forward through the pandemic and beyond.”
As COVID-19 restrictions are renewed and Chicago-area public health orders are updated in response to a recent rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations, demand for grocery, household products, and essential goods is expected to accelerate. Online shopping is at an all-time high and will increase as the December holidays approach. The need for trucking and distribution fleets to keep shipments moving has likewise increased.
Lytx’s data speaks to the impact of this increased demand, while demonstrating how driving risk and driver safety both remain critical issues during this time.
Comparing the number of miles driven each month from January-October 2020 in freight, trucking, distribution, and waste fleets in Chicago, Lytx found that mileage increased markedly and steadily during this time in these fleets – more so than in other fleet types.
Trucking fleets, which include freight, tractor trailers and over-the-road/long-haul fleets, experienced a substantial mileage increase, driving 20% more miles in October 2020 than in January, likely due to increased demand for essential goods and supplies as COVID-19 cases spiked in Illinois.
Distribution fleets, which include food and beverage carriers, moving and storage, and gas and petroleum fleets, drove 17% more miles in October 2020 as compared to January 2020.
Waste fleets, which include recycling, disposal and sanitation vehicles, drove 6% more miles during this time, as more individuals stayed at home and generated higher amounts of residential trash across the Chicago metropolitan area than before the pandemic.
Risky Driving Behavioral Shifts in Chicago
Examining driving events identified in the Chicago area during March-October 2020 in comparison to the same period in 2019, Lytx found a number of shifts in risky driving behaviors among commercial, public sector and service drivers. The upticks and reductions in certain driving patterns during this time demonstrate the impact increased demand and less traffic congestion has had on driving behaviors in Chicago.
Risky driving behaviors that increased in frequency during this time include:
- Failure to stop – increased by 134%
- Incomplete stop – increased by 87%
- Posted speed violation – increased by 31%
Risky driving behaviors that decreased in frequency during this time include:
- Late response – decreased by 70%
- Following distance of ≥ 2 sec to < 3 sec – decreased by 46%
- Near collisions – decreased by 31%
“Failure to stop” occurs when a driver failed to stop at or drove through a stop sign at a speed higher than 5 miles per hour (mph). While similar in scope, “incomplete stop” occurs when a driver’s speed was below 5 mph and the vehicle did not come to a complete stop at a stop sign or while turning right at a red light. Both are indicative of relaxed intersection awareness.
“These drivers deserve so much praise as they skillfully navigate the shifting traffic patterns related to evolving business curfews and closures,” Lisk said. “The driving patterns we’re seeing in Chicago are consistent with what we’re observing nationally. With fewer vehicles on the road and heightened demand, it’s easier to give into the temptation to speed or roll through stop signs – both posing serious threats to drivers and those with whom they share the roads.”
About the Data
These new insights from Lytx are derived from its proprietary database of more than 130 billion miles of driving data. To arrive at these findings, the company analyzed data captured within the Chicago-metro area from January-October 2019 compared to January-October 2020. By providing localized data, Lytx can help fleet operators identify risk in their vehicles and neighborhoods.
Lytx clients span trucking, distribution, waste, transit, construction, concrete, services, utilities and government/public-sector. The data is anonymized, normalized and in instances of concentrated areas and times of risk, generalizable to driving risk as a whole, given Lytx’s majority market share in video telematics solutions for fleets at large.
Lytx is a leading provider of machine vision and artificial intelligence-powered video telematics, analytics, safety, and productivity solutions for commercial, public sector, and field service fleets. Our solutions harness the power of video to empower drivers and fleets to be safer and more efficient, productive and profitable so they can thrive in today’s competitive environment. Our customizable services and programs span driver safety, risk detection, fleet tracking, compliance, and fuel management. Using the world’s largest driving database of its kind, along with proprietary machine vision and artificial intelligence technology, we help protect and connect thousands of fleets and more than 1.3 million drivers worldwide. For more information on Lytx telematics systems, visit, www.lytx.com, @lytx on Twitter, LinkedIn, our Facebook page or our YouTube channel.
# # #