It’s not your imagination, there are more drivers on the road in the DC area

With more people returning to work, the D.C. region has seen an increase in drivers and that number could continue to shoot up.

“It has been a steady climb,” said Mary DePompa, WTOP Traffic anchor. Despite the rise in gas prices, the boom in the number of drivers appears to be a recent trend.



DePompa said the changes are week-by-week.

“We have definitely seen a steady increase in flow in traffic since the beginning of the year,” she said.

The traffic center expects this increase to continue as more federal workers return in-person, according to DePompa. She also said the morning rush traffic has increased “twofold since the beginning of the year.”

WTOP’s traffic center has also seen an increase in calls from tipsters, which indicates an increase in drivers. An increase in motorists also means an increase in accidents and traffic incidents.

“The more people on the road, the more accidents,” said DePompa. She described the region as unique, considering that a lot of people who work in D.C. may not actually live there, causing a lot of commuting to and from the city.

“That’s what’s unique about this area, is the federal government and everyone trying to get toward the District,” she said.

However, DePompa said there may be a decrease in drivers several months ahead.

“There’s always the summer falloff with schools out, and vacation so it’s going to be like a peak for a little bit and then summer usually sees a drop. We’ll see how this plays out,” she said.

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