It evokes scenes from end of the world movies. Ride openly on deserted roads in an apocalyptic atmosphere, without limits.
All things considered, this is somewhat what is happening on the empty roads of certain regions affected by containment. According to GPS data collected and analyzed by the company INRIX, based in the state of Washington in the United States, and specialist in the field of location-based analyzes. According to a recent report, roads deserted due to coronaviruses cause an average speed increase of 20% in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Rome.
And the differential compared to a normal period is far from anecdotal since INRIX data shows that the average speed of travel would have increased by 35% in Los Angeles and by 30% in Chicago during Monday's rush hour morning. An acceleration that coincides with the restrictive measures taken by the two cities in question, which announced new bans on the opening of restaurants and bars last weekend, in addition to school closings and the obligation to work at home to help slow the COVID-19 epidemic.
In Mad Max mode, in America as in Europe
Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX, said "the improvement in travel speed is closely aligned with the drastic measures taken this weekend to stem its spread." Besides, LA and Chicago are not the only ones concerned since other large cities experienced similar speed peaks, notably Saint Louis (28%), Boston (25%), Miami (25%), Seattle (24 %) and San Francisco (22%). Seattle was the first US epicenter of the new coronavirus and its traffic began to become significantly smoother from the start of March.
In Europe, Rome (25%) and Milan (23%) also experienced an increase, but those who have already circulated in these cities or in their periphery know that generally one drives there quite quickly in normal times. London and Munich, on the other hand, have not seen such major changes on the roads, according to INRIX. With regard to London, this is probably partly explained by the fact that no containment measure had yet been taken during the study.
According to Trevor Reed, "As borders close and social distancing becomes more widespread in the United States and Europe, it is expected that the average speed of movement will continue to increase, probably reaching a threshold of 30% higher compared to the usual speed ”.
In addition to the fact that the roads are clear and probably unconsciously encourage them to press harder on the accelerator, it is also possible that motorists feel less watched by the police, who are certainly strongly mobilized on other priorities .