Drivers aren’t just speeding up on our empty roads — they’re also braking harder, scrolling cell phones longer, and crashing more, new data show.
In the five weeks after many states announced lockdown orders on March 16, the data company Zendrive said drivers’ use of cell phones behind the wheel is up 38 percent over pre-lockdown numbers. The number of drivers who exceeded speed limits was also up 27 percent, as was hard braking (25 percent) and collisions per million miles (20 percent.)
“As a result, every minute spent on the road is riskier; every mile driven is riskier,” a rep for the company said.
The data, collected from hundreds of millions of miles of driving, gives a rare insight into driving behaviors during the pandemic — behaviors that are not usually captured by police stats or traffic counters.