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Fleet managers are almost always interested in how to reduce driver & vehicle risk. But that concern is more important than ever given the deadly driving statistics that occurred during the 2020 pandemic. Despite the fact that there were significantly less drivers on the road in 2020, there were more accidents.
RouteSavvy home delivery routing software is a cost-effective answer to help reduce driver & vehicle risk, both during the pandemic and beyond.
In 2020, Traffic Volume Dropped But Accidents Increased
At first glance, it looks like the accident rate remained fairly steady in 2020. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) were down by 16.6 percent, or 265 billion miles, in the first six months of 2020. Because fewer miles were driven compared to the amount of accidents in 2020, this pushed the accident rate & fatal accident rate much higher.
While accidents initially decreased during the first quarter 2020 lockdowns, organizations tracking traffic safety reported massive increases in traffic accidents, especially fatal traffic accidents, in the 2nd quarter of 2020 and beyond.
There are several reasons for this unfortunate trend:
Huge Increases In Reckless Driving
As the roads became less crowded and people were increasingly stressed by the effects of the pandemic, people engaged in more risky driving behavior, including excessive speeding, street racing, and stunt driving.
Here are some examples from the United States & Canada:
- United States: There was a 30% increase in drivers caught speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour in the United States in 2020.
- California: From March 15, 2020 to April 15, 2020, the California Highway Patrol issued 2,500 traffic citations for people driving more than 100 miles an hour.
- State of Virginia: From mid-March 2020 to April 30, 2020, the state of Virginia reported that speed-related collisions increased by 18.5% over the previous year. Speeding-related accidents accounted for 48% of traffic fatalities, a 41% increase over the past 5 years.
- Toronto, Canada: From March 15-March 31, 2020, the Toronto Canada Police Department announced a 35% increase in speeding and a 200% increase in stunt driving, despite massive decreases in traffic volume.
Huge Increases In Alcohol & Drug Consumption
Research studies worldwide show that people were coping with the stresses of the pandemic with increased alcohol & drug consumption – and it’s likely that more people have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- United States: A 2020 Nielsen research study reported a 54% increase in alcohol sales nationwide for the week of March 21, 2020; and online alcohol sales increased by 262% from the same time in 2019.
- Canada: A 2020 research study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse & Addiction found that 25% of surveyed adults said they had increased their alcohol consumption, and 6% reported increasing their use of marijuana.
More Pressures On Commercial Delivery Drivers
Risk has increased because commercial drivers are under increasing pressure to deliver goods as fast as possible, at a time when reckless driving has skyrocketed.
The second and more profound change that puts more pressure on commercial drivers is that the pandemic changed the way consumers buy their products. Online sales of goods in 2020 in the United States increased by 44% thanks to the pandemic. This was the highest annual e-commerce growth in the past 20 years.
The increase in online sales also increased the volume of deliveries that need to be completed. Multinational shipping companies hired hundreds of thousands more workers and started delivering products 7 days a week to keep up with demand. Local retailers, restaurants, and businesses offering hard goods paid big markups and still saw delays in their items getting into the hands of customers. A Dec. 5, 2020 New York Times article stated that many small & mid-sized businesses facing delivery delays from the big shipping companies started handling deliveries themselves.
All this adds up to higher risk for your commercial drivers and your fleet. Why?
- More Miles Driven: More miles driven per week increases the odds of your drivers and fleet vehicles encountering dangerous drivers
- Pressure To Drive Faster: The need to deliver more goods each day increases pressure on commercial drivers to drive faster.
- More Driver Fatigue: Increased delivery volume means longer hours behind the wheel and generates more driver fatigue. Driver fatigue can lead to driver error, or the inability to respond as quickly to reckless drivers they encounter.
How Does RouteSavvy Reduce Driver & Vehicle Risk?
There are 3 key ways that RouteSavvy home delivery route planning software helps reduce risk.
- Fewer Miles Driven: RouteSavvy generates more efficient routes that reduce miles driven. When you reduce the miles driven to get the job done, you’re reducing the risk of an accident. It’s a numbers game. The more vehicle miles traveled, the higher the odds of an accident.
- Helps Drivers Maintain Safe Speeds: When a driver embarks on an efficient delivery route, they tend to maintain safe driving speeds.
- Reduces Driver Fatigue: When a driver can get the day’s deliveries done in a shorter period of time, they spend less time behind the wheel which reduces driver fatigue.
Did You Know:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. (Sept. 30, 2020)
RouteSavvy: A Cost-Effective Way to Reduce Driver & Vehicle Risk
RouteSavvy costs just $300 per year, and it generates $1000s in savings each year. It’s an easy-to-use route planner that allows managers to optimize routes in 3 easy steps, reduce miles driven, save money, and reduce risk.
Interesting in reducing risk to your commercial drivers and vehicles? Take RouteSavvy for a test drive with our Free Trial.