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Delivery drivers could be taking increased risks as pressure mounts on them during the lockdown pandemic, fleet video telematics provider Lytx warned this week.

Whilst risky driving behaviours dropped dramatically in the first three weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown, the data shows that in the second three weeks drivers began to take more risks with the incidence of drivers not wearing seatbelts rising by 49%, a 43% increase in drivers using a hand held device and a 36% increase in smoking whilst driving.

Damian Penney, vice president of Lytx Europe said: ‘‘It’s important to note that risky behaviour levels are still lower than they were during the same period in 2019, but they are rapidly returning to pre-Covid levels.’’

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‘‘While drivers will often experience seasonal peaks, internet orders and home deliveries have increased as people comply with the lockdown. This, coupled with reduced driver numbers due to self-isolation or illness, has resulted in increased pressure for those out on the road. Unsurprisingly, the data suggests that this added strain may have caused a change in focus amongst some drivers.’’

Penney said the lockdown may require managers to use new ways to tackle these driver habits.

“Usually in these situations, face-to-face coaching would take place to address any risky behaviours and to reward safe driving.

“In the current situation, we’re seeing many of our clients turn to remote coaching as an alternative way to ensure that personalised conversations between managers and drivers are still taking place in spite of the challenging circumstances.

‘‘Finally, these insights can be utilised by fleet managers to minimise the possibility of risk as they plan for the ‘return to normal’ and look to get the entire fleet back up and running.