More Driving Amid Quarantine Fatigue

More Americans are venturing out of their homes despite COVID-19 infections and deaths increasing in many parts of the country. Researchers tracking smartphone data say for the first time since states began implementing stay-at-home orders in mid-March to limit the spread of the coronavirus, people are staying home less. “We saw something we hoped wasn’t happening, but it’s there,” says Lei Zhang, lead researcher and director of the Maryland Transportation Institute at the University of Maryland. “It seems collectively we’re getting a little tired. It looks like people are loosening up on their own to travel more.” A number of people are starting to fight their quarantine fatigue by getting behind the wheel, even for just a 15 minute ride, according to cell phone tracking data. Although there are still significantly fewer cars on road, state highway safety officials are “seeing a severe spike in speeding” across the country, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. There have also been an increase in tickets issued for speeding more than 100 mph. In Phoenix, rush hour traffic speeds are up as much as 25% and overall traffic is only down 37% since the pandemic, according to travel time data by the analytics company INRIX. Most areas of the country traffic is between 40% – 50%. Walking and bike riding have also increased during the pandemic. To accommodate the influx of pedestrians and cyclists, major cities such as Oakland and New York have closed off miles of select streets to reduce motor traffic and to help better maintain social distancing measures. In Phoenix, bike shops have been busier than ever, reporting quadruple incomes, showrooms clearing out and three-week turnarounds for repairs.

Experts say the week of April 13 became a tipping point. Many Americans stuck at home hit the mental milestone of the fifth week, technically a second month, with no clear end in sight. Even with an abundance of Facetime calls and Zoom meetings, many people are still experiencing extreme feelings of loneliness and isolation. To better respond to the public restlessness, experts say governments may want to consider reopening larger parks or close more streets to traffic to allow people to get outdoors at safe distances. They say an increase in travel at this point in time is premature, when staying home remains the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus until widespread testing and contact tracing become available. Should you or a loved get into any kind of accident, hiring an auto accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ should be a top priority. A personal injury lawyer can represent you in your claims, deal with the adverse party’s insurance company, and attempt to get you the compensation you deserve. 



Thanks to Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into personal injury claims and fatigue when driving.