Most drivers are using their cars once a week or less for essential journeys such as buying food during the coronavirus lockdown, a new survey has confirmed.
However, nearly one in 10 have chosen to flout government restrictions by making non-essential journeys, including driving a “short distance so they can get some exercise” (5%) and getting behind the wheel to “give their cars a run” (4%).
Both of these types of trips carry the avoidable risks of road traffic collisions at a time when the emergency services are under enormous pressure, and of unnecessary breakdowns.
Meanwhile, a third of drivers revealed having access to a car is more important than ever following the coronavirus outbreak.
This data from the RAC underlines the increasing reliance many motorists have on their cars to help complete essential journeys, with three-quarters (75%) saying they use the car for permitted food shopping, 28% saying they use it to get to pharmacies, and a fifth (18%) needing the car to provide care or help to a vulnerable person. A fifth (20%) also say they use the car to get to work as they are in a role where they can’t work from home.
“These figures highlight the important role the private car still plays in enabling people to complete their essential journeys during lockdown,” said RAC Breakdown’s Rod Dennis.
“The reality for many people is that they still rely on the car for certain trips – be it for weekly food shopping, to get to and from work or when looking after a vulnerable person.
“While the temptation might be there with the car sat outside and largely unused, we really do urge people to think twice before they get behind the wheel.
“Every unnecessary journey potentially adds to the burden on our emergency services.”