May 12, 2020 / 5:20 PM / 22 days ago

U.S. motorists drove 19% fewer miles in March amid coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Highway signs usually used for traffic reports are now informing drivers to practice social distancing due to the global outbreak of coronavirus in San Clemente, California, U.S., March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Travel by U.S. motorists fell nearly 19% in March from the same month last year as the coronavirus pandemic prompted millions of Americans to work from home, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Tuesday.

In total, travel on U.S. roads fell in March by 50.6 billion miles over March 2019 to 221 billion vehicle miles. The biggest decline was in the northeast United States, where traffic fell 21%. It was the lowest March total for U.S. miles driven since 1999.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese

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