June 8, 2020 / 5:54 PM / a month ago

Travel on U.S. roads fell by 40% in April amid stay-at-home orders

FILE PHOTO: Empty roads leading into and out of the Las Vegas strip are seen as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S., April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Travel on U.S. roads fell by 39.8% in April as coronavirus stay-at-home orders prompted tens of millions of Americans to work from home and others to avoid travel as destinations temporarily closed.

The U.S. Transportation Department said U.S. motorists drove 112 billion fewer miles compared with April 2019, for a total of 169.6 billion vehicle miles. In the first four months of 2020, U.S. motorists drove fewer miles than in any year since 2001, traversing 875.9 billion miles, down 14.8%.

The biggest decline in April was in the Northeast, where traffic fell by 47%. Among individual states, driving fell 50.5% in Connecticut, 50.4% in Hawaii, 49.3% in New Jersey and 47.2% in Maryland.

Transportation analytics firm INRIX Inc says U.S. travel continues to rebound as more states reopen their economies and more Americans return to work.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Franklin Paul and Dan Grebler

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