The COVID impact: fewer cars, more bad driving
The COVID impact: fewer cars, more bad driving

The reports are now rolling in from around the world, confirming what bike riders experienced each day: although there were fewer cars on the road, the drivers were more dangerous than ever.

Free running traffic resulted in more distracted driving.

New data from the United States shows that collisions per million kilometres traveled increased 67% during lockdown.

And 57% of all crashes involved phone use prior to impact.

Nearly 17% of all crashes involved phone use 5 seconds immediately prior to impact.

Nearly one in every five crashes can be directly attributed to a phone-related distraction.

The data was assembled by Zendrive, a US firm that has technology in many GPS and phone apps used for navigation and other services.

It analysed 300 billion kilometres of driving and 86,000 crashes between January and November.

The collision data indicated that 17% of all crashes involved speeding, 75% involved hard breaking and 57% involved phone use.

The data shows that the duration of phone usage while driving, at an aggregate level, has went down. However, there was an alarming increase in phone usage frequency.

In other words drivers across the U.S. may not have been using their phone for longer durations but they were using their phone more frequently.

The report also identified a 36% increase in rapid acceleration events between January and November, presumably as reduced congestion created more opportunities for risk taking.

Other studies have shown that using a mobile phone reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37 per cent.

Like our articles?

Become a Member and help fund our advocacy work.

Join Now

Become our friend

Find out more about Bicycle Network and support us in making it easier for people to ride bikes.

Become our friend - Footer