Coronavirus and travel: How America’s personal travel behavior has changed during COVID-19

Rob Nendorf · April 9, 2020 · 3 min read
Arity is offering free data-driven insights to help businesses understand the correlation between coronavirus and travel, and see how travel is changing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. Many of us likely know someone who has been affected directly by the disease, in some cases tragically. We watch the news and wonder where this will end, when our lives might return to any sense of normal. Businesses across all industries are scrambling to understand how to manage through this crisis and best serve their customers.

With more than 41 states enacting orders to stay at home, it’s no surprise that Americans are continuing to travel less, as we first reported on March 24. In analyzing aggregated and anonymized data from Arity’s 23 million connections, we’ve identified trends related to coronavirus and travel. We’ve seen that total miles traveled is now down over 50% countrywide, with all states following a similar curve. Arity’s personal travel behavior data includes both driving behavior data and other mobility methods such as public transit and trains. In some states personal travel miles are down almost 70% while other states are down 45%, with no state more than 13 percentage points above or below the countrywide average. Still, travelers in every state began to change their behavior within a week of March 8, 2020.

Total miles traveled decreases for all states starting March 10
% change relative to value on March 8

Line graph showing the total miles traveled decrease starting March 10, 2020

It’s inspiring to us to see companies doing what they can to help people during this difficult time. At Arity, we recognize our unique ability to make sense of changes in travel behavior. With more than 280 billion miles of data collected and analyzed, we’re in a position to provide helpful insights on the relationship between coronavirus and travel.

We will be offering reports that will provide what insights we’ve derived from our analysis of travel behavior during COVID-19.

The insights we’ll share are intended to help answer questions such as:

  • How are state and federal shelter-in-place guidelines impacting travel behavior?
  • How are numbers of reported COVID-19 cases impacting travel behavior?
  • What are the differences in the various states and regions of the country?
  • What will be the longer-term impact in 2020?
  • Are people traveling differently? Are they more or less exhibiting riskier behaviors while traveling?

Starting April 15, we will begin a webinar series to talk through these specific insights and provide COVID-19 impact reports to insurance companies and other businesses impacted by mobility trends at no cost and provide reports for download to webinar attendees. Webinars will continue during the pandemic as long as the data we have to share is valuable. We’re aiming to help businesses during this time and hope you will join us to preview our latest insights and analyses. Most importantly, we’ll take your feedback and questions to develop future reports.

If you are interested in obtaining additional information, Arity is a rating services organization and is always available for any insurance companies that would like to further understand how specific insights could help them evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on accident frequency, loss costs, or other similar metrics.

At Arity, our goal is to make sense of how people move so that businesses can better serve people. We can’t think of a better time than now to live into that promise.

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