Survey Says

Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research

As coronavirus lockdowns are being lifted, traffic is increasing on streets nationwide.

Photo by Getty Images

A new study by Honk Technologies has found that motorists are fueling up far less frequently than they were before COVID-19 lockdowns happened. How drastic the drop is, however, may surprise you.

According to Agero, beginning March 17, when the country's first stay at home order went into effect, daily average traffic volume began to fall. Currently, traffic has rebounded and continues to climb with figures nearing the volume of early March, growing at a weekly rate over four times faster than the same period in 2019.

traffic NYC New York City 42nd street Traffic in New York City is down 18 percent compared to forecasted amounts, according to Agero. Photo by Getty Images

"The pandemic has certainly disrupted traditional traffic patterns," says Beth Davidson, Agero's chief marketing officer. "The typical rush hour commute has disappeared, errands are no longer relegated to Saturday morning, and road trips are becoming the new plane ride. But as states continue to ease stay at home orders, we're seeing breakdown event volumes rapidly return to near-normal levels as people begin to use their vehicles again. We believe this could be the start of far higher traffic volumes than we are used to seeing."

Easter seem to have been the turning point for most areas, according to Agero. Since then, average roadside assistance events have shown a greater than 30 percent increase through June 10th.

Because Americans are driving less, they're also fueling up less. An online survey of 719 motorists by Honk Technologies found that 56 percent of respondents were willing up less than once a week prior to the pandemic. Eleven percent filled up once a moth or less.

Currently, 25 percent of survey respondents say that they're filling up at least once per week. Forty-five percent hit the pumps once per month or less.

Additionally, the survey revealed that beyond commuting, few are making trips other than for what is absolutely necessary. This makes sense as many extracurricular actives have been cancelled and dining establishments have closed or are only open under limited conditions. School runs have also ceased.

When asked what destinations they had driven to in the prior seven days, 83 percent said they had driven to a grocery store, pharmacy or some other store for necessary supplies. Just 17 percent had gone shopping, 21 percent to outdoor recreation activities, 25 percent to a restaurant or cafe, 31 percent to visit family or friends and 32 percent to go to work. Just four percent did not go out at all.

Trending News

 
 

The first 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible off the line was auctioned for charity tonight.

Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson/Facebook

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan was a double beneficiary on Friday night. Proceeds from the sale of the first production 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition and the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible benefitted the charity. The winning bid for the C8 Corvette Convertible was $400,000.

The Corvette Convertible traces its roots back to the original 'Vette - the 1953 model was only available as a rag top. The modern C8 Corvette Convertible engineered the hard top to provide a quieter cabin, increased security, and a cleaner look than previous convertible designs. It can be activated at speeds u pro 30 mpg and retracts in 16 seconds.

The roof is powered by six electric motors — a Corvette first. A body-colored roof is standard, while Carbon Flash metallic-painted nacelles and roof are optional.

A divider glass window in the middle of the vehicle can be power adjusted with the top up or down. In addition to the roof, the car as the same rear spoiler used on the Stingray coupe's Z51 Performance Package, resulting in identical drag between the coupe and convertible with the top up.

The chassis was tweaked for the convertible, giving the convertible nearly the same performance as the coupe.

Like the Stingray coupe, the convertible is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible has a $68,495 starting MSRP.

Last year, Rick Hendrick, founder and CEO of Hendrick Companies, placed the winning bid for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray VIN 0001 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction. All proceeds from that sale benefitted the Detroit Children's Fund, a nonprofit focused on high-potential investments to provide Detroit school children the opportunity to receive an excellent education.

Trending News

 
 

Existing Dodge Charger and Challenger models are getting a no-cost update designed to thwart thieves.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis
The Dodge Charger and Challenger are hot models. Not just hot as in good-looking. Hot as in stolen. In 2019, the Dodge Charger HEMI and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat were atop the Highway Loss Data Institute's list of vehicles most likely to be stolen. The claim rates for each model's whole-vehicle theft were more than five times the average for 2016 to 2018 models. Since then, both models have continued to see robust sales.

Dodge has announced an automotive software upgrade that is designed to made the cars less desirable to theives. Using the Dodge owner's four-digit security code, a new enhanced deterrence feature limits the vehicle's engine speed to idle (675 rpm). At idle, the engines produce approximately 2.8 horsepower and 22 lb.-ft. of torque.

2020 Dodge Charger The Dodge Charger is one of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The no-charge update is limited to Dodge Charger and Challenger models equipped with 392-cu.-in. HEMI V8 or supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engines.

"Dodge is launching a new owner-customized 'double verification' security system," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. "When flashed into the computer of affected 2015 or newer Dodge muscle cars, the protective software will limit the engine output to less than three horsepower, foiling fast getaways and joyrides."

The software upgrade can be installed free of charge by any Dodge dealer on 2015 through 2021 model-year Dodge muscle cars. The complimentary enhancement applies second-level vehicle security encryption via Dodge's Uconnect 4C infotainment system.

"More than 150 cars are stolen every day in the United States," added Kuniskis. "For any car owner, it's terrible, it's a hassle and it's a personal violation. Though statistically rare, car thieves have targeted the high-horsepower Dodge muscle cars, and we want the Dodge 'Brotherhood' to know we're taking quick action and covering their backs."

Dodge has committed to pursuing other enhancements to vehicle-theft deterrence in order to protect owners' investments.

Dodge expects the new security feature to be available late in the second quarter of 2021.

Trending News