A new survey conducted by Bridgestone Americas has revealed that more than half of Americans plan to travel only by car this summer to reach their vacation destinations. Nearly four in five respondents said they feel safer in a car than on a plane, and nearly one-third said they plan to travel more than 500 miles by car this summer.
While restrictions and guidance concerning travel, outdoor activities and public gatherings have begun to ease, just 13% said they will visit crowded destinations such as amusement parks and metropolitan cities. Moreover, 15% will continue to stay close to home for the foreseeable future. For those planning to travel, half of respondents said they are using their next trip to visit friends or family, and another 24% will visit the beach this summer.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- 53% of respondents said they had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- 50% indicated they were already comfortable traveling city-to-city by car and including an overnight stay.
- 15% of respondents, by contrast, expressed concerns about intra-city travel in the next seven to 12 months or longer.
- 25% expressed a high degree of comfort with attending a sporting event or concert.
- 23% said they were already comfortable traveling by airplane to another country.
This survey information only bolsters the encouraging trend of increasing miles driven. Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in March 2021 was up 19% over March 2020 – not surprising, since March 2020 was the first lockdown month last year, when VMT was down 19%. Overall, however, VMT is still down 3.5% compared to 2019, so traffic hasn’t fully recovered.