The RAC has analysed data taken from its insurance division’s black box monitors, breakdown recovery rates and click rates for its online journey planner platform. They have concluded that, despite the lockdown, we are gradually taking to the roads again. In the week 30th April to 7th May, compared with the second week of lockdown (27th March to 3rd April), the number ofcars on the road increased by 11% and journey miles by 23% daily. This is supported by an increase in use of their route planner service.
41% of us are using our cars more frequently now than when lockdown began. In a survey 23% said they were driving to buy food and groceries, while 9% said they were using a car for trips to pharmacies or to buy essential supplies. 5% were driving specifically to buy alcohol and another 5% to DIY shops.
DIY shops are on the Government's list of essential businesses to stay open, so does that mean that driving to an essentialbusiness is therefore an essential journey - the only sort of journey permitted under lockdown? Another anomaly is the use of a car to drive to somewhere in order to make use of the one a day exercise allowance. While traffic volumes are currently as they were in the 1950s, the temptation to get out of the four walls is understandably increasing. The Government would like us to ask ourselves 'Is my journey essential?' before putting our foot down on the gas, but I suspect that the tendency to make our decisions over those of the Government will incease.