There is more evidence that Americans are getting back on the road. A new survey from Cars.com found that 60% of Americans intend to travel this Labor Day weekend and 88% of this group is planning to drive. For stations waiting for the long holiday weekend to launch a new format, that’s nearly double the amount that said in mid-May that they planned to travel on Memorial Day weekend (34%). More than one in four (26%) of 966 respondents surveyed from Aug. 20-21 said they plan to travel more than 100 miles and 49% plan to be gone the entire weekend or longer. The new survey found that 42% will visit family or friends, 36% will go to the beach in a safe manner and 22% plan to visit a state or national park.
The benefit to radio is obvious. Edison Research’s latest Infinite Dial report found 81% of adults aged 18 and older listen to AM/FM radio while in the car. That is significantly higher than any other medium.
The latest survey from Cars.com, which provides a digital marketplace for the auto industry, also found that coronavirus concerns are motivating those in the market to buy a car to pull the trigger this holiday weekend — much sooner than originally planned. More than half (51%) of in-market car shoppers surveyed say they will buy a car this weekend and 64% moved up their purchase timeline due to COVID-19.
"We have tracked consumer sentiment about car buying and travel habits during the pandemic for months now — and our findings continue to show that more and more people are turning to car ownership because of the safety and freedom it provides," said Kelsey Mays, Senior Consumer Affairs Editor of Cars.com. "And, interestingly enough, this new generation of buyers – many who previously did not own a car, particularly in urban areas – are looking at sedans over the typically popular SUVs or crossovers as their vehicle of choice."
Research released in August from Cars.com found a significant number of commuters are no longer comfortable using mass transit. Two-thirds of bus riders have stopped riding or are riding less frequently. And six in ten said they are using ride-sharing less often than before. The same number of subway or commuter rail riders has stopped riding or are riding less frequently. In a signal that the pandemic may have lingering effects long after things return to normal, seven percent of those surveyed said they will never resume their pre-COVID mass transit habits.