Teletrac Navman recently released findings from a report on driving behaviors during the first month of the COVID-19 national shutdown. Data taken by a sample of its clients’ connected vehicles in the U.S. during the first 36 days of the federal declaration of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic was used to create the report.
The data found a 20% drop in the average distance driven and several, unsafe, changes in driving behavior, including:
- 17% increase in speeding
- 10% increase in failures to stop at stop signs
- 15% increase in harsh-cornering events
“It wasn’t surprising to see the number of vehicles on the road drop drastically after the emergency and resulting economic slowdown, but it is interesting to see how those remaining drivers behaved with lighter traffic congestion,” said Ben Williams, director of marketing, digital and analytics for Teletrac Navman. “Fewer vehicles on the road should translate to safer driving conditions; however, these insights reveal that might not be the case.”
The data sample covers the period from March 13, 2020, the day President Trump signed the emergency declaration, to April 17, 2020. Over that time, each subsequent day registered fewer miles driven on average, but a direct correlation emerged showing more frequent speeding, more harsh turns and more ignored stop signs.
“These insights tell a story of how drivers, who are used to navigating congested roadways, responded to there being fewer vehicles on the road,” Williams said. “We hope these findings serve as a reminder that we should all follow safe driving practices whether the highway is full or empty.”