Safe Travels? How People Are Pulling It Off Amid COVID-19
An Astounding 80% of Americans Agree: We Feel Most Secure in Our Cars
Has your car become a convenient hidey-hole from the madness of your home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Is a laptop cord permanently protruding from your ride’s middle console due to the numerous times you turned your car into your personal movie theater? Is a trip to the store starting to feel like a spiritual get-away?
Don’t worry, you’re not crazy – and you’re definitely not alone.
According to a new Fair-sponsored survey, nearly 3 out of 4 people have turned to their cars for a mental health break in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak. And while 10% of Americans reported that they don’t feel safe in any mode of transportation right now, 8 in 10 expressed feeling safe in their cars – a powerful expression of confidence in our vehicles, which may well constitute one of the most controlled environments in our lives right now.
Those are just some of the findings of the Fair poll, which was conducted by Researchscape and based on interviews with more than 1,000 Americans about how they’re using their cars during the pandemic – and how they view transportation in general.
Among the many surprising ways people are using their cars as a safe haven during COVID-19, 30% of those surveyed said they’ve taken a mini-break behind the wheel by driving around their neighborhood, while 24% reported taking a longer drive simply to clear their head. Another 16% admitted going full anti-social by sitting in their car outside their house listening to music or audiobooks (which we totally endorse, by the way).
But people aren’t just seeking personal comfort in our cars during this time; they’re also using them to perform social good – a concept that cuts even across political lines.
According to the survey, an equal share of self-identified Republicans and Democrats (21% of each group) used their cars to deliver groceries during the pandemic as an act of kindness to friends/family/neighbors in need. Democrats and Republicans were also equally likely (14% of each group) to use the money they saved on gas during the pandemic to support their local economies.
But while the survey reveals surprising alignment among Americans when it comes to our cars, our outlook on other forms of transportation is significantly bleaker. In fact, 55% of Americans expressed feeling apprehensive riding buses or subways, while 49% reported reservations about taking a rideshare car or taxi.
Our dim view of getting into metal tubes with other people extends all the way into next year, with 44% of people surveyed saying they will still fear traveling on planes in 2021. Another 39% said they plan to skip international travel altogether in 2021.
So what would lure people back to public transportation? A full 47% of survey respondents said it would take a vaccine to get them to embrace mass transit, while 38% said they would be comfortable with the presence of an on-board touchless hand-sanitizing dispenser. Another 37% said they would be comfortable with mandatory face coverings, while 30% said they’d be fine with any system that made their experience touchless.
To see a full breakdown of the survey results, check out the poll results here.
And if you’re interested in a virtually touchless way to get a car of your own – right on your phone and from wherever you are – check out Fair. You can shop in-app for the car you want, sign for it with your finger, choose how long you drive it, and even have it delivered for free in most cases.