It’s not just you. The pandemic has made drivers more reckless

published 26.06.2020 10:00

In fact, people are driving over 100 miles per hour 20% more often than pre-COVID-19.

As Gary Hallgren, president of Arity, explains to me, the company knows this because it analyzes a ton of data, collected discreetly from 23 million drivers across the U.S. Through apps on your phone like Weatherbug, for which you share GPS location and potentially accelerometer data, Arity collects a billion miles in anonymized driver data every two days.

Arity offers a peek into just the sort of big data collection that can make people queasy, but in this case, they’re sharing their findings publicly, so citizens and policymakers alike can have a clearer understanding of how car behaviors have changed around the pandemic.

Car traffic dropped 40% nationwide as lockdown orders went into effect in March, and people didn’t necessarily wait for government mandates to stay at home.

“People were actually [quarantining] ahead of what states were [advising],” says Hallgren, adding that it remains to be seen how drivers will behave now that the virus is spiking in certain states.