(BPT) – Our driving habits and relationships with our cars have made many unexpected turns throughout the pandemic – from driving every day, to the closure of many public places, leading Americans to leave their car in park for quite a while. Since then, we’ve seen driving increase, but we are still not driving as much as we used to.
Despite these changes, the Hankook Tire Gauge Index found that Americans appear content with their current driving habits, with only about 1 in 4 (23%) saying they want to change how much they currently drive. However, here are four ways we can expect driving to change (or not!) in the new year.
Continuously shifting driving patterns
With the continuation of remote or hybrid work, and various other factors, most people (78%) are driving less than 200 miles per week.
But things could shift as we head into 2022. Just over half of Americans (51%) expect to drive the same amount. Of those who do expect a change in their driving habits, it’s fairly split on whether they expect to drive more often (23%) or less (26%). (For what it’s worth, younger generations seem to think they’ll hit the road more frequently.)
The daily drive remains
Nearly two years of remote work hasn’t made anyone nostalgic for the morning commute. Even with fewer drivers on the road, Americans still largely agree (69%) that they prefer to not drive during rush hour. And while it may still be less often than they were two years ago, 44% expect they’ll continue commuting the same amount come 2022.
Driving provides for a bit of a break
Whether working or learning from home, or spending the day in the office, Americans like to break up the day with a drive. Hankook found taking a drive continues to be a popular way to relax and visit with friends, and most people expect that the amount they drive for fun or leisure (53%) will stay the same in the new year. So, choose your favorite album and buckle up for a drive to nowhere in particular!
Car travel could continue to increase
One thing is certain: people prefer to travel by car. Americans are 36% more comfortable traveling long distances by car, versus planes, compared to this time last year. This is fueled by an increasing number of travelers switching from public transportation and ride share services to driving their own vehicle to avoid close contact with others during the pandemic.
And while it’s impossible to know what 2022 will bring for the road ahead, it’s safe to say we can expect our driving patterns to continue shifting gears.
Did you know … people are happy to jump in the car to socialize, attend an event, or see someone special: 54% expect to attend more social events come 2022.