Northwest commuters prefer being behind the wheel


According to the 2018 PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, despite a shared frustration for traffic delays, a whopping 94 percent of commuters say they prefer to drive themselves to work, rather than opt for another mode of transportation. How about you? How do you choose to get from point A to B?

When you are commuting to and from work or school, or out doing errands or other activities, what form of transportation do you most often use?

Total OR
94 94 I drive myself
10 11 I walk
9 7 I take the bus
6 6 I use a carpool or vanpool
4 4 I use light rail
1 1 Other

Thinking about the transportation you use to get around most often, why do you use that form of transportation most often?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
74 75 Most convenient
49 47 Fastest or most efficient
22 22 Least expensive
17 17 Most relaxing
6 5 Prefer to conserve resources
3 3 Other
1 1 Don’t know

Thinking about the form of transportation you use most to commute or go to and from regular activities, if you could easily do whatever was necessary to make it workable (for no extra money), what changes would you make?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
52 51 None—I wouldn’t make any changes
15 18 I would drive myself more often
14 15 I would walk more often
12 10 I would take the bus more often
11 10 I would take light rail more often
11 13 I would ride my bicycle more often
9 6 I would use a carpool or vanpool more often
1 1 Other
3 3 Don’t know

Thinking about the form of transportation you use most to commute or go to and from regular activities, if you could easily do whatever was necessary to make it workable (for no extra money), what changes would you make?

Oregon
Drive Other
53 29 None—I wouldn’t make any changes
17 35 I would drive myself more often
15 16 I would walk more often
10 17 I would take the bus more often
10 15 I would take light rail more often
13 18 I would ride my bicycle more often
6 13 I would use a carpool or vanpool more often

Typically, on an average week day, about how many minutes do you spend commuting to and from work or school, or going to and from your regular activities or errands?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
17 20 Fewer than 15 minutes
27 26 15 – 29 minutes
27 28 30 – 59 minutes
13 13 60 – 89 minutes
14 13 90+ minutes
50.5 48.0 Average # minutes

On a typical week day about how many miles do you travel while commuting to and from school or work, or going to and from your regular activities or errands?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
15 16 Fewer than 5 miles
21 21 5 – 9 miles
24 24 10 – 19 miles
14 15 20 – 29 miles
9 8 30 – 39 miles
14 12 40 miles or more
21.9 20.8 Average # minutes

Over the past year or so, has the time you spend on the road getting to and from work or school, or doing other errands or activities, increased, decreased or stayed about the same?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
32 33 Increased
57 58 Stayed about the same
10 9 Decreased

Over the past year or so, for which of these reasons has your time on the roads increased?

Total OR
391 196 On-road time has increased
53 53 More traffic
25 28 I moved
24 21 More construction
20 23 Changed jobs
17 18 More stops along the way
15 15 Changed the route I take
6 5 Changed the form of transportation used

Over the past year or so, for which of these reasons has your time on the roads decreased?

Total OR
12 55 On-road time has decreased
35 38 Changed jobs
33 22 Moved
13 9 I retired or work less than before
12 22 Change in activities
5 7 Change in route traveled
5 4 Changed where I work from

What is the most amount of time you’d agree to spend on the road commuting or doing errands before you’d get very serious about making a change (like moving your home so you’re closer to work or school, or like going to a different school or getting a different job to be closer)?

Total OR
855 423 Those who answered
16 18 30 minutes or less
34 34 31 – 60 minutes
21 22 61 – 90 minutes
16 15 91 – 120 minutes
10 8 121 – 180 minutes
4 3 Over 180 minutes
82.1 79.2 Average minutes

In the past year or so, what actions have you taken specifically to improve your experiences with getting to and from work or school, or getting your errands or other activities done?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
59 61 No specific actions taken
13 12 Changed work schedule to avoid the heaviest traffic
11 11 Moved so that I’m closer
10 10 Changed jobs
9 7 Changed method of transportation used
7 7 Other

Some people talk about being “stuck in traffic.” For this question, please assume that being stuck in traffic means that the number of other vehicles on the streets or highways forces traffic to move slower than the posted speed limit. When you’re stuck in traffic, which one of these situations irritates you the most?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
35 33 When it seems to be about the same number of vehicles but the way other drivers are driving causes traffic to move more slowly
26 26 When there are simply more vehicles on the road than normal
15 14 When there’s construction or road repairs that causes a slow-down in traffic
10 12 When there’s an accident on the road
7 6 When there is malfunctioning traffic equipment (like a traffic light) that is causing the traffic to slow down
4 4 Other

When you are stuck in traffic, how anxious or irritated does it typically make you feel?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
7 5 Extremely anxious or irritated
16 15 Very anxious or irritated
50 49 Somewhat anxious or irritated
21 23 Not very anxious or irritated
5 6 Not at all anxious or irritated

When traffic is heavy, which (if any) of these things do you sometimes do in order to deal with it?

Total OR
1216 603 Those who commute/do activities
57 57 Drive on back roads, side streets or change my regular driving route to use less crowded streets
34 33 Adjust the times I drive to avoid the worst of the traffic
27 27 Use GPS-based way-finding apps to learn the least crowded streets
9 12 No changes made
7 5 Use public transit
7 6 Continue to drive without making changes, but feeling like I’m suffering
6 5 Use ride sharing, carpooling or public transit to take advantage of HOV lanes
4 4 Drive more aggressively so I can get in and out of traffic faster
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About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance
PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold to consumers by the method they choose – phone, local community agents, or online. For more information, visit pemco.com.