Susanna Gotsch says drivers are back out on the roads, but changes in driving patterns are still more adversely impacting the number of claims and shop repair orders.
Gotsch, data analyst for CCC Information Services and the lead-off speaker at the virtual MSO Symposium held in November, said vehicle miles traveled has rebounded nationally to within 5% of “normal,” but that traffic congestion---and the claims that result---has not.
She cited a number of statistics affecting congestion. A study of 3,600 office buildings showed, for example, that occupancy rates that were near 100% in many metro areas are now below 30%.
“While many businesses are still operational, they continue to keep their employees working remotely,” Gotsch said, noting automakers and high-tech firms are among the companies already announcing they will keep their employees working from home at least through next June.
Susanna Gotsch of CCC Information Services
Similarly, although 14 states have 90% of students in classrooms some or all school days, nearly two in five K-12 students nationally still attend schools offering only a virtual option.
These changes cut morning and afternoon commute traffic significantly, Gotsch said, noting those are the times of day in which federal data indicates about one-third of all accidents occur.
The rebound in vehicle travel is happening with less congestion in part because of travel during non-peak time---online shopping deliveries occur across a broad swath of the day, for example---and in part because of longer trips by those avoiding air travel.
The end result, Gotsch said, is claims...