The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on every area of life. Businesses have been forced to adapt and the way that people work has changed so much. But one of the biggest changes has been to the way that we use our cars. With so many people working from home, driving habits have changed drastically, and there is a chance that these changes may stick around in the future. So, how has COVID-19 changed our driving habits?
Fewer Drivers On The Road
The most obvious change that we have seen is that there are fewer drivers on the road. With so many businesses closing down and the majority of people working from home, people simply don’t need to commute so the roads are much quieter. In fact, there has been a 65 percent decrease in driving since the first stay at home orders were introduced. Although this number has been fluctuating as restrictions in different places are lifted, the number of drivers on the road still remains significantly lower than it was before the pandemic. In the future, it is likely that businesses will continue using remote workers instead of hiring large office spaces because they can make big cost savings. So, you may find that the roads are quieter in the long term, even once the pandemic is over.
Less Distance Covered
It’s not just that people are making fewer journeys, they are also driving shorter distances. Statistics show that the number of miles driven per journey decreased by 44 percent during the height of the pandemic. This is most likely because people don’t need to commute, there are fewer hospitality venues for them to visit, and they are more concerned about visiting friends and family members due to the risk of spreading the virus. This means that most people are only taking necessary trips to places like the grocery store, so they are covering less distance. As things open up again, it is unlikely that this trend will continue because people will resume their normal activities.
Fewer Accidents But More Dangerous Ones
As you would expect, there are fewer accidents overall because there are not as many drivers on the road. However, the biggest decrease has been seen in low speed collisions that are likely to happen in busier areas. Unfortunately, there has been a big increase in high speed collisions over 70 mph, which is a big problem because these accidents are more likely to cause serious injury or death. Bicycle accidents are up 42.9 percent in big cities like New York as well, and it is the cyclists rather than drivers or pedestrians that are most likely to get injured in these collisions. It’s likely that this increase in dangerous accidents is a result of careless driving and complacency. When there are fewer drivers on the road, people are more likely to be reckless because there is a perceived lack of danger. Hopefully, this trend will not continue in the future, but if the roads are quieter, there is a danger that high speed collisions could increase in the long term.
Next time you are driving, keep these changes in mind so you can stay safe on the roads during the COVID-19 pandemic.