The data provides insight into the changes in miles driven and how certain risky driving behaviors have become more prevalent in the months since “stay at home” orders were issued across Illinois. - Graphic: Lytx

The data provides insight into the changes in miles driven and how certain risky driving behaviors have become more prevalent in the months since “stay at home” orders were issued across Illinois.

Graphic: Lytx

Lytx released data showing the effects the pandemic has had on fleets on the road in and around Chicago, observing more miles being driven for certain fleet segments, along with an increase in fleets making speeding violations.

The data provides insight into the changes in miles driven and how certain risky driving behaviors have become more prevalent in the months since “stay at home” orders were issued across Illinois, however, other risky behaviors also decreased, Lytx found. Online shopping is at an all-time high and will increase as the December holidays approach, and the need for distribution and trucking fleets to keep shipments moving has likewise increased.

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.

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, Lytx found. Meanwhile, 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 demand for essential goods and supplies.

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.

Driving events identified in the Chicago area during March-October 2020 compared to 2019, there were a number of shifts in risky driving behaviors among commercial, public sector and service drivers, Lytx found. 

Risky driving behaviors that increased:

  • Failure to stop violations increased by 134%
  • Incomplete stop behaviors increased by 87%
  • Posted speed violations increased by 31%

Conversely, some risky driving behaviors that decreased were:

  • Late response decreased by 70%
  • Risky following distances 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.

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