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Cars.com Research Reveals Americans Are Driving to Escape Stress of COVID-19

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Car Road Trip
Photo: Riccardo Bresciani

Even though most Americans have abandoned their daily commutes, school drop-off duties, and non-essential on-the-road journeys due to COVID-19, many are still spending time behind the wheel.


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“People may be sheltering in place across the country but make no mistake, they are hitting the roads for a brief escape from their homes,” said Matt Schmitz, Cars.com assistant managing editor for news. “Our research shows that people just need a break from the daily monotony, and cars are serving as a safe, personal retreat for families. We are even seeing a resurgence in an American pastime: the family Sunday drive.”

The research reveals that 45 percent of non-parents and 60 percent of parents who participated in the Cars.com study are now “Sunday drivers.” Two other trends relating to cars and driving also surfaced during the research.

The getaway car

Fifty-three percent of parents are finding the extra family time to be too much and confess to using their cars to hide from their loved ones and escape their homes.

woman in red car

Work from home challenges

Many employees new to working from home have had to get creative. Some are using kitchen tables, coffee tables, or beds as temporary work stations. Some are carving out some private space in a closet, basement, or, when weather permits, on the porch or deck. Parents sharing table and desk space with their kids trying to finish their assignments are finding room to work inside the home insufficient.

“The car is the new office. As many adjust to a work-from-home lifestyle, more than one in four Americans are using their cars as a makeshift office — particularly parents,” according to Cars.com.

laptop in car working in the car
Photo: mentatdgt

Whether you’re hitting the road to find some peace, heading to work because your position is essential or you’re gathering supplies for your family, be sure to practice COVID-19-suggested safety precautions such as disinfecting your car interior and washing your hands when you get to your destination and when you return home.


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And, remember, just because the roads are less crowded, doesn’t mean you can be less alert or focused behind the wheel.