January 13, 2021 11:44:57 AM
The number of cars on the road during the current national lockdown has not fallen at the same rates seen during the first lockdown in March last year.
Analysis of RAC Black Box Insurance customer data shows there were an average of 10 per cent more cars on the road during the first week of the current lockdown compared with the first week of the first lockdown.
That represented 31 per cent more miles driven each day. However, it still equates to a 22 per cent reduction on normal car use, compared with the first week of February 2020.
The RAC says traffic levels are currently comparable to those seen in May last year when lockdown restrictions first started to ease and people were encouraged to return to work.
RAC data insight spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Despite the whole of the UK now under a further coronavirus lockdown, our data shows the number of cars in use has not dropped to the same extent it did the first time restrictions were brought in last March.
“The feel of this latest nationwide lockdown is very different to that which was first imposed in 2020 with greater numbers of people working in ‘Covid-secure’ workplaces, more shops offering click-and-collect services, and more children of keyworkers attending schools.
“In addition, with so many avoiding public transport, there will inevitably be far more people opting for the safer environment of the car. Together, these differences help account for the busier roads.
“Nonetheless, it’s vital drivers think carefully before using their vehicles and ensure they’re only venturing out for essential trips as specified by government guidelines. Every unnecessary journey increases the chances of a breakdown, or worse a road traffic collision, and risks adding to the pressures being experienced by our emergency and healthcare workers.”
The RAC says despite people being encouraged to stay home, its breakdown service had its busiest ever start to the new year, attending eight per cent more breakdowns in the first four days of January than is normal for this time of year.
The organisation has recommended motorists buy a trickle charger to avoid flat batteries if they’re rarely using the car during the current cold weather.