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Why Driving is Currently the Safest Form of Business Travel

Posted by Insightlink on 04/20/20

405 million long-distance business trips are taken in the U.S. each year — a number that's greater than the entire American population. However, due to current flight and business restrictions, and health risks posed by traveling in general, this number is set to plummet. Thankfully, essential businesspeople can still keep their pressing appointments by vehicle, which, if the definition of “safest” is specific to illness avoidance, is currently the safest mode of travel. Of course, traveling by car confers other benefits now that road trips are vastly more efficient.   
Empty Roads

Wherever the government is enforcing self-isolation there are fewer vehicles on the road. Traffic was down 51 percent in California’s Bay Area on March 19 and 20. Over the same period, traffic in New York City dropped 43 percent. These big city declines are affecting the nation as a whole. America on March 19 and 20 hosted 30 percent fewer vehicles on its roadways. As a result, transport trucks are passing through America’s busiest thoroughfares faster than ever. Atlanta’s I-85 and I-285 intersection, where trucks ordinarily must slow to 15 MPH during rush hour, was passed at an average speed of 53 MPH. Similar results are seen along the I-495 in New York City, the intersection of I-710 and I-105 in Los Angeles, and the Byrne Interchange in Chicago. With less traffic congestion, businesspeople with obligations in other counties or states can drive to their destinations faster and safer – perhaps faster and safer than they ever thought possible.
Lower Risk of Infection

Avoiding illness is much easier when traveling by yourself in a car rather than with a group of strangers on a plane. Not only are planes filled with unknown contaminants, but so are airports and transportation to and from airports. Exposure risks on a day road trip are limited to gas pumps and fast food drive-thrus. This is assuming, of course, that everything goes as planned. An accident or mechanical issue will expose driver and vehicle to compounding risks. He or she will be forced to solicit a police officer, friend, tow truck, or mechanic to transport and repair the broken vehicle. Meanwhile, the driver will come into contact with more people while waiting to repossess their now-contaminated vessel. In these times, taking a dependable vehicle on your business trip is a necessity, especially one that has been the recipient of a J.D. Power award for dependability.     
Important Qualifications

Vehicle problems is just one of the important qualifications to the statement, “driving is currently the safest form of business travel.” Regardless of whether you take a car or plane, the safety of the trip depends entirely on the destination. If your road trip destination is a conference or group meeting, your chance of contracting a virus is far more likely. If this is the nature of your business, a tough decision needs to be made as to whether or not the trip is worth it. This decision has already been made for many people since business operations are restricted in most locales.
Due to current circumstances, driving is a far more attractive transportation method than flying - especially for businesspeople. A solo drive in their own vehicle makes contracting any virus implausible. However, if their destination is a viral hotspot and/or full of people, or if they foresee mechanical trouble along the way, no mode of transport can make the trip safe. Conducting business from home is the best option.  


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