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Survey reports 54% of Americans think the average driver is worse than pre-pandemic

While remote work spurred a decrease in commuting, survey results showed people did not part with their vehicles; stats revealed crash fatalities rose

Mesa, Ariz.—Verra Mobility Corporation, a provider of smart mobility technology solutions, has released a new report on the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on driver behavior and perceptions. The survey found 54% of Americans feel the average driver is worse now compared to before the pandemic.

In addition, 40% of Americans feel less safe on the roads than they did before the pandemic began in 2020. When asked specifically about rush hour traffic, only 15% of responders said rush hour traffic has improved, with more than twice the number of people, 34%, saying it is worse.

While the pandemic caused many people to isolate and have fewer interactions, patience on U.S. roadways seemed to degrade. Of people surveyed, 32% said they were now less tolerant of traffic versus pre-pandemic — only 20% said they were more tolerant.

These survey findings correlate with statistics around rising traffic deaths. Over the last three years, an average of 114 fatal car crashes occurred every day. In 2022, there was an average of 117 fatal car accidents per day compared to 118 daily fatalities in 2021, exceeding the 2020 average of 107 fatal car accidents per day.

The survey also looked at vehicle ownership and perceptions around commuting and public transportation. While remote work spurred a decrease in commuting, the survey results showed people did not part with their vehicles. The majority of households retained their vehicle(s), with 65% stating that they currently own the same number of vehicles as they did before the pandemic. Only 13% of American households attributed the pandemic as the reason for owning fewer cars today.

While personal vehicles did not change much, public transportation appeared to decline. Of those surveyed, 28% use less rideshare services, and 31% use less public transportation. The number one reason for not using public transportation was said to be convenience.

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