After the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S. in 2020, vacations were canceled, traveling was banned, and many of us found ourselves stuck at home. But as summer 2021 approaches, more people are planning road trips and taking a vacation. According to a recent national survey by Erie Insurance, more than half of the respondents said they plan to take at least one road trip this year.
The survey also provided new insights about what drivers can expect to see on the road, including concerns about other drivers’ behaviors, their own habits when it comes to speeding and use of social media while driving, and the number of miles they’ll drive in a single road trip. The survey also found that while drivers may be road ready, their cars may not be, as some put off vehicle maintenance during the pandemic.
When asked about their own driving behaviors, nearly three quarters of drivers (72%) admitted they sometimes or often speed. Another 62% said they sometimes or often drive while tired, and a very concerning 7% said they sometimes or often fall asleep at the wheel.
Drivers aged 25-44 seem the most tired, with 13% of them saying they sometimes or often fall asleep while driving.
When asked what most worries them about other drivers, the top 5 concerns were:
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving: 50%
- Road rage: 18%
- Speeding: 14%
- Tailgating: 12%
- Failing to yield: 3%
Social Media and Cell Phone Use While Driving
Significant percentages of drivers admit they use their cell phones while driving, including to access GPS (36%), to take or make calls (36% and 28%, respectively), or to check or reply to texts (26% and 17%, respectively).
A much smaller percentage (5%) admit to accessing social media while driving. Of those, their top 5 social media activities are:
- Scrolling through photos, posts or other content: 89%
- Taking pictures: 37%
- Posting photos or videos: 26%
- Watching or shooting videos: 22%
- Commenting on other people’s photos or videos: 19%
Infographic: You’re Ready to Roll – But is Your Car?
Most drivers kept up with their vehicle’s maintenance during the pandemic, but one in five said they put off some of these tasks:
Vehicle Maintenance: Pandemic Procrastination
With COVID restrictions easing, you may be ready to hit the road, but is your car?
A recent national survey by Erie Insurance shows 1 in 5 drivers put off maintenance during the pandemic.
Not driving as much 59%
Didn't have extra money due to financial hardship 36%
Didn't think about it 24%
Concerned about coming in close contact with others 31%
What’s past due:
Oil and filter changes 64.6%
Cleaning the interior and exterior of the vehicle 44.8%
Tire rotation 37.5%
Checking tires 28.1%
Engine and cabin air filter changes 24%
Are you the 1 of every 5 on the road who put off car care during COVID?
Even if you are driving less these days, it’s still important to stay up to date with your car or truck’s safety and maintenance needs. Neglecting to change your oil, or check your battery, could cause your car to overheat or break down. Erie Insurance is here to make sure you’re protected from the unexpected.
To learn more about auto insurance coverage from ERIE, visit erieinsurance.com/auto-insurance.
This survey was conducted online by Falls on behalf of Erie Insurance, from February 12 through February 25, 2021, among 500 U.S. residents ages 18 and older. Falls established the sampling quotas, designed the questionnaire, tabulated the survey response, and managed the overall project. Falls used Dynata (Plano, TX) to administer the survey via the internet, including mobile devices, to Dynata’s captive U.S. panels who met the age, gender and regional demographic criteria.
Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Co., Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Co. and Erie Family Life Insurance Co. (Erie, PA) or Erie Insurance Co. of New York (Rochester, NY). Go to erieinsurance.com for company licensure and product details.
Further Reading: Road Trip Tips
Planning your epic adventure? Check out these related road trip blogs:
- The Ultimate Guide: How to Plan a Road Trip Vacation
- 40 Road Trip Games and Activities
- 4 Brilliant Ways to Keep Kids Occupied on Road Trips
Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is up to the task. Here’s some good advice to know:
- What to Include in a Car Emergency Kit
- How to Jump-Start a Car
- How to Get Better Gas Mileage
- How Do I Get Roadside Service Coverage with My Auto Policy?
If you are planning a road trip this year, make sure you pack the right auto insurance along with your other essentials. With coverage from ERIE, it doesn’t matter if you’re taking an epic road trip or just around the bend: wherever you go, we’re right there with you.
To customize an auto policy that’s right for you, talk to your local ERIE insurance agent.