By mid-April, traffic across Montana was only about 60% of what it normally is at that time of year, according to MS2. That was a little better than the nation as a whole, which had about 45% less traffic. MS2 is a company that created a website to publish traffic data compiled from about half of the states in the nation to show the changes caused by the pandemic. Less traffic should result in fewer collisions, and recent data shows that to be the case.
A Michigan firm that provides transportation data, MS2, does a Daily Traffic Volume Trends report that shows more cars and trucks are on the road in Louisiana. Last Friday traffic was down 18.4% compared to 28.1% two days earlier after being down 25% the Friday before and 31.6% on Friday, April 3.
“Overall miles driven are already seeing a dramatic drop. Daily traffic volume trends nationally had begun declining by single-digits in mid-March 2020 according to the company MS2, but rapidly fell to 30 and then 40 percent by the end of the month.”
MS2, an Ann Arbor-based technology company that tracks traffic volumes, has compiled data that confirms what the few drivers on the road are seeing. The company started seeing a sharp drop-off of traffic on March 14, several days after Michigan’s first coronavirus cases were reported. When Whitmer ordered restaurants and bars closed on March 16, that drop-off grew to 17.1% and when she signed an executive order for people to stay at home on March 23, traffic volumes dropped by 45.7% the next day.
Ann Arbor-based MS2 has been providing traffic data to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) since 2016 and has a tracker that updates daily traffic trends by 3 p.m. every day. The software company pulls information from roadside counter devices, provided by MDOT, to its cloud system each night.
The information about freeways with and without change in speed limits was obtained from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Traffic volume data along the selected arterial sections were collected from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) regional traffic counts database. This robust data, managed by MS2’s Transportation Data Management System, contain AADT for the entire southeast Michigan region, collected by County Road Commissions, local communities, MDOT, and consultants.