Accident Rates Increase as Restrictions Ease, Economy Stabilizes

The pandemic has had a profound impact on the entire automotive industry and accident rates are no exception. Throughout much of 2020, economic uncertainty, travel restrictions, and a significant number of businesses transitioning to remote work scenarios resulted in far fewer vehicles on the road and a dramatic decrease in miles driven. And as you can imagine, accident rates dropped substantially during this period.

But as the calendar flipped to 2021, many drivers returned to the road as we began to emerge from pandemic lockdowns and accident rates quickly started to climb back to pre-pandemic levels.

To dig deeper into the data and truly understand how accident rates are trending, ARI’s Kate Harland and Rich Radi provided their perspective on the topic as part of Work Truck’s annual special report. In the series of articles, Kate and Rich examined the latest accident management trends and offered some advice to help fleet operators minimize incidents and improve driver safety.

In the first article which focuses on key data trends, Kate highlights the variety of factors that contributed to an increase in accident rates and other associated challenges.

“Frankly, basic driving skills were rusty for many, contributing to a spike in accident rates. This increase in accidents along with well-documented supply chain constraints due to the lingering impact of the pandemic are hampering accident repairs as well. Many repair facilities are still struggling with parts and/or labor shortages. Add to that a much smaller pool of rental cars available (as many rental companies liquidated their inventory during the pandemic) along with the general lack of new vehicle inventory, and you can quickly see the perfect storm this creates,”.

In the other article, Rich discusses the variety of strategies and tools fleet operators can leverage to gain a comprehensive view of what’s truly happening behind the wheel in an effort to adopt a proactive approach to fleet safety, headlined by powerful telematics technology.

“We continue to see a growing number of fleet operators embrace telematics technology,” said Rich. “When this telematics data is integrated into an advanced analytics platform, you can easily benchmark driving performance across your entire organization to pinpoint high-risk drivers and highlight opportunities to prescribe corrective training. By proactively identifying and training these high-risk drivers, you’re able to improve safety, prevent potential collisions, and better control accident costs.”

To read the entire accident management trends special report, please visit Be sure to watch our Fleet is an Investment video series for more information about the tools available to help keep your drivers safe on the road.