Fleets Seeing Less Road Congestion Due to COVID-19

Photo: Geotab

Average commercial vehicle speeds have increased and time spent at intersections for drivers has reduced, indicating reduced congestion following regional stay-at-home orders, according to data from Geotab.

Geotab revealed new data insights highlighting the impact that COVID-19 has had on commercial vehicle activity in seven major U.S. cities. The data is processed from more than 2 million Geotab connected vehicles worldwide and is pulled from averages from Feb. 22, 2020 to March 15, 2020 compared with March 15, 2020 to April 10, 2020.

“Now more than ever, commercial vehicle drivers are tasked with moving essential goods across the country to help ensure that U.S. citizens have access to necessities like groceries, toiletries and more,” said Mike Branch, Vice President of Data and Analytics at Geotab. “Through our analysis, we have seen a noticeable decrease in traffic congestion based on average speeds and time spent at intersections. This means that with less traffic on the roads, commercial vehicles are able to travel through typically congested major cities in a more efficient way, allowing these essential drivers to get where they are going quicker.”

The U.S. city with the largest increase in average road speeds was found to be New York City, moving from an average speed of 17.5 mph to an average of 21.0 mph - a 20% increase, according to Geotab data. San Francisco and Washington had the second largest increase in average road speeds.

In addition to average road speed, the analysis also examined the average time stopped at city intersections after March 15, 2020 compared to average times from Feb. 22, 2020 to March 15, 2020. The city with the largest reduction in time spent at intersections was Atlanta at 17%, with an average of 35 seconds spent at an intersection compared to 42 seconds before March 15. The city that has shown the smallest reduction in time spent at intersections is Seattle, with a 3% difference since before March 15.

“Examining connected car datasets at the city level helps provide some clarity and understanding about what is happening in our communities during unprecedented times such as this,” added Branch. “As citizens across both the U.S. and the world continue to stay home, our support for frontline essential workers continues to be of the utmost importance.”

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