Commercial trucking data collected from 166,000 video event recorders of 100 billion miles driven has provided an unprecedented view of truck-driving safety, risk factors, and behaviors.
The video event recorders connect truck driver behaviors to certain events, such as collisions and near-collisions, then time-stamps and geographically plots them.
Lytx’s report aggregates data from several hundred fleets, including more than 16 million driver behaviors and nearly 7 million risky events, to identify key trucking safety information, such as where and when collision risks are the highest. According to Lytx, the data represents more than 100 billion miles of truck driving data.
“There is a distinct difference between collision and near-collision trends,” said Ryan Brandos, Lytx data analyst, in the company’s report. “Collisions occur more frequently at night. We see those same drivers avoid contact during the afternoon hours, resulting in more near collisions during the day.”
Riskiest truck driving times
According to the data, the top riskiest times of day for North American truck drivers between January and September 2018 were:
- Day of the week with most collisions: Wednesday (peak between 2-4 a.m.)
- Time of day with most collisions: Overnight (11 p.m.-5 a.m.)
- Day of week with most near collisions: Friday
- Time of day with most near collisions: Afternoon (1-5 p.m.)
- Day of week with least collisions: Monday
Rates of driver distraction peak on Fridays, while fundamental traffic violations are most common on Thursdays. The frequency of drowsy driving and other adverse driving conduct are highest on Tuesdays, the Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) reported.
According to CCJ, Mr. Brandos correlates NBC’s Monday Night Football telecast as a potential factor in these heightened risks, saying that during the four-month NFL season from late August through December, “risks are 170 percent higher on those Tuesdays compared to the rest of the year.”
Top 10 risky driving behaviors
Lytx also identified correlations between specific risky driving behaviors and the likelihood of those behaviors resulting in a collision. The top 10 driving behaviors correlated to a driver experiencing a collision within 90 days are:
- Blank stare
- Drowsy driving
- Driver not wearing seatbelt
- Late response
- Failed to allow enough space to react to other drivers
- Near collision
- Near collision (unavoidable)
- Aggressive driving
- Falling asleep
Lytx trucking-industry data shows the top five riskiest road segments for North American truck drivers between January and September 2018 were:
- Pennsylvania Route 309: Near Vera Cruz Road, Upper Saucon Township, (South of Allentown);
- Pennsylvania Route 309: Near W. Emmaus Avenue, Allentown (Southeast of Queen City Municipal Airport);
- Pennsylvania Route 181: Near Crooked Hill Road, Susquehanna Township (East of Harrisburg Area Community College);
- Tennessee Interstate 40: Near Green Hill Road, Dandridge (East of Knoxville);
- Tennessee Interstate 24: Near Belvoir Avenue, Chattanooga (Southwest of Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport).
“The ability to determine the level of risk posed by other vehicles on the road, beyond just other large trucks, is a degree of insight only Lytx can provide,” Mr. Brandos said. “With this level of detail, managers and coaches can consider areas of concentrated risk so they can make informed decisions about the best routes for their drivers.”
The company’s data showed these five locations are 172 times more risky on average than other road segments. “Four out of the five segments are near interchanges and the other is near an exit/on ramp, which are areas of high driver volatility,” according to Lytx. “Rapid changes in driving speed and sudden lane changes to make exits/connections not only lead to more triggered events, but also amplify the risk posed by risky driving behaviors, as these volatile areas necessitate a greater amount of proactive and reactive driving.”