Why Monday Night Football may contribute to unsafe driving

AUSTIN, Texas – Could Monday Night Football be to blame for risky driving behavior among truckers?

After combing through more than 100 billion miles of data, Lytx data analyst Ryan Brandos thinks that could be the case. He analyzed the data from the video-based telematics provider, which in 2017 captured 16.1 million behaviors and 6.9 million risky events, and came to some interesting findings.

First, the good news: truck drivers monitored by Lytx are becoming safer. In the most recent three months of 2018, there were 358,359 fewer instances of poor driving compared to the same period in 2017.

“The trucking industry as a whole has been making tremendous strides in reducing instances of risky driving behavior,” Brandos said during a press briefing at the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The company now has 116,000 event recorders installed in trucks. Interestingly, Tuesdays have the highest instances of driver condition and driver conduct issues, including drowsy driving and driver errors. This is especially true during the NFL season, leading Brandos to conclude Monday Night Football may be to blame.

However, awareness, distractions and outcome behaviors (ie. Use of cellphones) spike on Fridays.

“Generally speaking, the risk we see in the fleets we cover tends to start off relatively low on Monday and get progressively worse throughout the week with Friday being the single riskiest day of the week,” Brandos said.

The highest concentration of collisions happen on Wednesdays, with the peak time being between 2 and 4 a.m. Mondays have the fewest collisions.

Lytx also examined which behaviors correlate with a driver’s likelihood of being involved in a crash within the next 90 days, with being involved in a crash being the top predictor. However, there was also a strong correlation between not wearing a seatbelt – the most frequently identified behavior – and likelihood to be involved in a crash.

“If a driver is willing to take a chance with their personal safety, they’re also willing to take a chance with vehicle safety,” Brandos reasoned.

Lytx also identified the riskiest roads, with two sections of Route 309 in Pennsylvania that are within a few miles of each other, coming out as the two riskiest sections of road. Brandos said these stretches of road have lots of interchanges with heavy traffic merging on and off the highway.

“We are hoping to be able to give our customers deeper insights into how the roads they travel affect their risk profile,” Brandos said.

Ryan Brandos
Avatar photo

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.