New York state is riskiest for commercial fleets, Lytx report reveals

by Today's Trucking

The top five riskiest states and districts for commercial fleets in the U.S. in 2021 were New York, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, according to a new report.

These are at least 1.5 times riskier than other states due to their large populations, high traffic volumes, and unusual traffic patterns.

Risky driving increased in 2021 but a report released by Lytx, a provider of video telematics, showed that drivers using it’s Driver Safety Program experienced fewer collisions.

Picture of trucks on the interstate
(Photo: iStock)

The State of the Data report on vehicle fleets also reveals 2021’s riskiest roadways for driving in the U.S, — as well as the riskiest days and times to be on the road.

David Riordan, Lytx’s executive vice-president and general manager – enterprise, said “We captured more than 35 billion miles of driving data last year, bringing our total dataset to over 185 billion miles. We analyze this data to help vehicle fleets better understand the risks on the road and the driver behaviors that can have a positive effect on safety.”

Increase in fatal crashes

According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in February 2022, a statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first nine months of 2021 showed a 12% increase in fatal traffic crashes nationwide, compared with 2020. The report estimated that 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the first nine months of 2021, compared with 28,325 fatalities in the same period in 2020.

Companies that used Lytx’s fleet management services last year improved their overall safety levels, demonstrating significant reductions in several critical, high-risk behaviors, the report said.

The top five reduced risky behaviors were: not driving on a designated roadway; driving too fast for conditions; late response to a hazard or a change in road conditions; failure to use mirrors; and running a red light. 

Lytx’s DriveCam event recorders use machine vision and artificial intelligence technology that can help address distracted driving in the moment, and provide reliable, continual video evidence for protection when the unexpected occurs.

Risky behaviors

The data also revealed increases in certain risky behaviors that fleet managers can address in their companies’ safety programs. The top five increased risky behaviors were: electronic device distraction (non-cellphone); driver unbelted while driving off an identifiable roadway; cellphone distraction; posted speed violation; and distractions other than electronic devices (ie. food or drink).

The top five associated behaviors in near collisions were: failed to keep adequate space around the vehicle; distractions other than electronic devices (ie. food or drink); failure to use mirrors; driver fails to scan an intersection adequately before entry; and late response to a hazard or a change in road conditions.

The top five associated behaviors in collisions were: driver took a risky action (ie. taking hands off wheel for more than three seconds); failed to pay attention; driving too fast for conditions; failure to use mirrors; and distractions other than electronic devices (ie. food or drink).

Riskiest cities

The top five riskiest cities and metropolitan areas in 2021 due to their size, greater traffic density, and quickly changing driving conditions were: New York, N.Y., and Newark, N.J. (N.Y./N.J. is 28% riskier than Chicago); Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Philadelphia, Pa.

Lytx captured more than 14 million risky driving incidents among vehicle fleets in 2021. Road segments were examined using Lytx’s proprietary risk-scoring system, and the data identified that the riskiest roadways in the U.S. for 2021 were:

  1. Interstate 94 near West G. Rogell Drive (near Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Mich.)
  2. U.S. 422 near Mercer Road (Butler, Pa.)
  3. U.S. 422 near Glade Drive (Kittanning, Pa.)
  4. Interstate 95 near the Port of New Haven (New Haven, Conn.)
  5. U.S. 422 near East Butler Road (Butler, Pa.)

These five roadway segments are 220 times riskier than the average roadway. Most of these road segments are either narrow or are near interchanges, construction zones, or on/off ramps.

Most collisions on Friday

The day of the week that drivers are on the road can make a difference in risky roadways, as Lytx data found new insights regarding the days of the week and times that have the highest prevalence of collisions. In 2021, the day with most collisions was Friday and the day with fewest collisions was Sunday. Most collision occurred in the morning – from 5 a.m. to noon.

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