REPORT: Dash Cam Data Reveals Riskiest Roads and Troubling Trucking Trends
San Diego, CA – A new report by Lytx, a leading video telematics provider, reveals the riskiest roads and the most dangerous time of day for truckers, as well as a host of other emerging trends in driver behavior.
Lytx unveiled its newest findings in its second annual “State of the Data” report presented at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition (MC&E) in San Diego.
The company says its findings are based on more than 6.2 billion miles of driving data from trucking clients over the past year.
Lytx captured 5.5 million risky events between November 2018 to August 2019 from its trucking clients.
Of those incidents, the following road segments contained the highest concentration of risk:
1) Pennsylvania Route 309 intersection with Pennsylvania Route 145 and E. Rock Road (Allentown, PA)
2) Pennsylvania Route 309: East of W. Emaus Avenue (Allentown, PA)
3) Interstate 85 intersection with University Station Road (Hillsborough, NC)
4) Interstate 84 intersection with Pennsylvania Route 435 (Dunmore, PA)
5) Interstate 81 / Pennsylvania Route 309 intersection with E. Northampton Street (Wilkes-Barre Township, PA)
Areas of Pennsylvania, and particularly Pennsylvania Route 309, continue to dominate in terms of risk, holding onto the title of first and second riskiest roads in the country for the second year in a row.
Lytx has found the state of Pennsylvania to be the second riskiest in the country for trucking fleets in terms of number of incidents captured there, after Texas.
According to Lytx’s data, the average severity of incidents captured in Pennsylvania was twice as high as that in Texas, and Pennsylvania was also found to have the most severe collisions of any state.
All five of the identified road segments, including those on PA Route 309, are near interchanges or on/off ramps, which naturally represent areas of increased risk, the company says.
Lytx analysts suggested “sudden lane changes and rapid changes in driving speed associated with these areas tend to amplify risk.”
Most Dangerous Times
Lytx trucking-industry data uncovered a shift in the riskiest days of the week and times of day from last year’s analysis.
Between January-August 2019, Lytx identified Thursday as having the most collisions.
Mornings between 5 a.m. and noon is when the most collisions occur, according to Lytx.
In 2018, Lytx reported the most dangerous time of day was overnight between 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., while the riskiest day of the week was Wednesday.
“There’s an interesting shift in collision and near-collision trends, specifically that both are most prevalent in the morning hours,” said Kyle Warlick, client intelligence analyst at Lytx.
Warlick surmised, “It’s possible the industry’s efforts to – and Lytx clients’ success in – curbing drowsy driving is behind the decrease in accidents that occur overnight. Drivers are much more aware of the signs of drowsy driving and best practices for addressing it.”
Driver Behavioral Trends
Lytx trucking clients experienced 13% fewer risky driving events from January-August 2019 compared to the same period last year.
The data also shows improvements in several high-risk driving behaviors between November 2018 and August 2019, with drowsy driving as the most improved behavior, according to the company.
In fact, drowsy driving decreased by 25%, while falling asleep saw a decrease of 21%.
Collisions and near collisions also declined 16% and 13% respectively.
Aggressive driving, which Lytx defines as the driver exhibiting “unsafe and/or unlawful actions, such as tailgating, weaving through traffic or excessively speeding, showing a disregard for their own safety, other drivers, pedestrians or property,” is also on the decline.
Lytx data shows a decrease of 38% in this dangerous behavior.
One of the behaviors “most correlated” to collisions, according to Lytx, is a “blank stare” or “daydreaming.”
In fact, Lytx says drivers who exhibit “blank stare” are more than 200% more likely to experience a collision in the next 90 days than a driver who does not display the behavior.
Fortunately, this too is on the decline, according to the newest data.
“As truck drivers generally drive for the longest periods of time and distances compared to other industries, it’s incredibly impressive these professionals have the lowest instances of blank stare, which we’ve found to be one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can exhibit,” said Del Lisk, vice president of safety services at Lytx.
Late response, which Lytx defines as an event in which the driver was not known to be distracted, yet responded late or abruptly to a readily visible risky situation ahead, occurs 138% more often in trucking than any other industry.
However, instances of drivers exhibiting this behavior fell by 24% over the last year, according to the data.
While some risky behaviors are on the decline, other troubling trends inside the cab are emerging, according to Lytx.
Instances of cell phone use, not wearing a seat belt, and speeding violations are on the rise.
“There have been incredible improvements and powerful insights uncovered in the past year… but it’s clear there’s still work to be done in the name of safety,” Lisk evaluated.