As non-essential businesses stay closed through the COVID-19 outbreak, traffic within the U.S. has decreased significantly, basically eliminating the distinction between weekday and end of the week congestion in most major cities. The drawback to that is unsafe driving patterns among commercial truck drivers are on the rise.

To help to navigate a few of the new obstacles brought on by COVID-19, drivers can keep their security scores intact by leveraging the information coming off their electronic logging devices, transportation management systems (TMS) and telematics solutions to operate more productively and securely during this time of uncertainty.

In reaction to COVID-19, telematics provider Geotab has been persistently monitoring transportation and trade movement through its weekly blog posts. In additional, Geotab compiled a heat map, which reveals the diminish in commercial transportation movement within the U.S. ranges from as low as 58% movement in areas like New York and New Jersey to 86% activity in Central states such as Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska).

Mike Branch, vice president of data and analytics at Geotab, pointed out that heavy-duty trucks have been the slightest affected in terms of their utilization and activity. Moreover, when analyzing commercial transportation activity to and from commercial, industrial, retail, distribution centers, and grocery store areas, Geotab found that activity to and from grocery stores decreased the slightest, at just under 90% of baselined volumes.

As activity congestion has decreased all through the pandemic, the morning and evening rush hour has virtually vanished. Although, commercial transportation speeds in major cities have increased. In New York City, for example, normal weekday speeds for commercial fleets have risen by 20%, according to Geotab. “As speed has increased in cities, we have seen an increase in harsh braking, hard acceleration and hard cornering as measured by day by day events per active vehicle — predominantly by trucks,” Branch clarified.

The safety and well-being of drivers remain a top priority, as many are driving long hours, are possibly exhausted, and have no idea when they will be able to come back home to their families.

“They are carrying a heavy burden, and that can result in potential safety issues. They need to make sure they are driving as safely as possible,” said Kevin Aries, head of global product success at Verizon Connect.