Traffic expert predicts rush hour traffic could triple because of the novel coronavirus pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As more cities start to reopen across America, one major traffic expert predicts unprecedented road congestion ahead.

Traffic expert Sam Schwartz told ABC News reporter Gio Benitz the rush hour commute could triple in length in some metro areas in the next few months. "You could be 10, 20, 30% higher than what we've seen," said Schwartz. "Traffic could come to a standstill."



Schwartz gave one example of the Long Island Expressway in New York. Right now, cars drive faster than 50 miles per hour but after Labor Day traffic would slow to a crawl.

It's not just commuters, a new survey from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America shows dramatically more vacationers are planning road trips. 62% said they would travel by car this summer, up 72% from last summer.

RELATED: What will traffic look like after COVID-19? Bay Area officials weigh in

The increase in traffic is being blamed on concerns the novel coronavirus spreading on public transit. However, research shows there is no known connection between the virus and public transit.

You can watch Gio Benitez's full report, here.

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