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December: The most dangerous time of the year for commercial drivers – Truck News

It may be the most wonderful time of the year. But the Christmas holiday season is also the most dangerous for commercial vehicle drivers, according to data from two telematics providers.

In its 2023 Holiday Outlook report, Motive analyzed data that showed Dec. 23 is the most dangerous day of the year for commercial truck drivers. And the December weeks leading up to Christmas also show a spike in Hours of Service-related violations, as drivers scramble to get their final loads of the year delivered.

Chart showing spike in collisions Dec. 23
(Source: Motive)

“Last year, we saw a 14% increase in critical speeding events around the holidays, likely due to the rush and demand associated with this time of year,” Motive reported.

“In fact truck collisions more than doubled on Dec. 23 in particular. Severe weather was another factor, as Dec. 23 of last year also saw 73% of accidents happen at locations impacted by snowy, icy, and wet conditions. Finally, Hours of Service violations also tick up during the holidays, with December 2022 seeing a 10% increase, and December 2019 seeing a 28% jump.”

chart showing spike in HOS violations
(Source: Motive)

Another telematics company, Netradyne, reached a similar conclusion when analyzing its own data. It found commercial drivers are 120% more likely to get into an accident on Dec. 25 than at other times of the year. (Based on a 120% increase in collision alerts per million miles).

This, despite the fact congestion was down 33% compared to all other days in 2022 last Christmas. Netradyne noted last Christmas an 88% increase in speeding alerts per 1,000 driving minutes compared to all other calendar days.

Netradyne examined key performance indicators (KPIs) among commercial fleet customers including: severe (and moderate) potential collisions per 10 million monitored minutes; severe (and moderate) alerts per 1,000 monitored minutes; distracted driving; following distance violations; speeding violations; stop sign violations; traffic light violations; and congestion factors.

“From our findings, we found that less congestion leads to more distraction and speeding on Dec. 23 and 25 which in turn, led to more collisions,” Netradyne concluded.

Christmas traffic
(Photo: iStock)

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