Two days after the lockdown was imposed, daily trip counts in SA had decreased by more than 80% relative to the week that ended March 2.
This according to car usage data from Standard Bank Insurance. The banking insurance company said South Africans had been more observant of the lockdown regulations than countries such as the US and the UK.
On March 26, a day before the lockdown, the number of motor vehicle trips in the country surged by nearly 40% as people rushed to the shops to stock up on basic goods, according to the data, analysed by UK-based telematics company The Floow, a partner to Standard Bank Insurance.
By March 29, two days after the imposition of the lockdown, daily trip counts in SA had decreased by more than 80%.
According to the data, this compares to a roughly 50% decline in driving activity in the US linked to state-mandated lockdowns and a 65% decline in driving activity in the UK.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, The Floow has been monitoring how the spread of the virus, and the measures and lockdowns which governments have implemented, are impacting on mobility.
“We’ve seen some interesting figures, but the measures taken in SA in particular have had the biggest impact of all the countries that we are monitoring,” Andy Goldby, chief actuary at The Floow said.
Data also indicated that though there were less users on the road, driving scores have edged slightly lower.
“This could be due to the types of drivers left on the road, or the lack of traffic allowing more aggressive driving,” Goldby said.
Standard Bank Insurance recently announced that clients would receive 25% of their car insurance premiums back.
“During the current lockdown, as the data reflects, our clients are staying at home and most are not using their vehicles.
“Our partnership with The Floow allows us to use empirical data to develop solutions for our clients that provide them with financial relief in difficult times such as this,” Nolwandle Mbalo from Standard Bank Insurance said.