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(Slate)   Is it possible that working from home actually makes people drive more than when they're telecommuting? Slate doesn't know either, but they made up a bunch of hypothetical situations that imply it could be true. So, you know, be concerned   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Telecommuting, Commuting, Telecommuter, pandemic ends, remote work, pandemic driving, COVID times, extra twist  
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876 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Apr 2021 at 3:27 PM (4 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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4 days ago  
If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.
 
4 days ago  
But how much are they jerking off?
 
4 days ago  

dothemath: But how much are they jerking off?


But enough about Slate...
 
4 days ago  
I fill up maybe once a month now....300 miles a month versus 300 miles a week. Math isn't that hard on this one.
 
4 days ago  
Aren't telecommuting and working from home the same thing?
 
4 days ago  

HugeMistake: If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.


Like:

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
4 days ago  

dothemath: But how much are they jerking off?


This is a loaded question.
 
4 days ago  
Mfers are using 12 and 20 year old data for this study. GTFOuttaheah!
 
amb
4 days ago  
In the last 13 months I've driven maybe 1,500 miles. Before the lockdown/wfh started would have done that much in about 7-8 weeks. So I am driving about 1/6 what I normally did before. It would be less, but a couple of times just went for drives to get out of the house.
 
4 days ago  
Speaking for myself, I've been WFH for over a year and have not needed to make the 40-mile round trip from my house to the office. Sure, I do the occasional errand but it's all within the neighborhood. I've probably saved over 10K miles on my car.

/CSB.
 
4 days ago  
My car sits in the driveway for days or weeks at a time now.

I did drive 3 1/2 hours for my covid shot.
 
4 days ago  

Eat The Placenta: dothemath: But how much are they jerking off?

This is a loaded question.


Only for 30 seconds or so.
 
4 days ago  

fiddlehead: HugeMistake: If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.

Like:

[Fark user image 644x425]


Far be it from me to white-knight Slate, but TFA's point is that post-pandemic WFH won't be like it was in 2020. Specifically, people might go back to driving to the gym, meeting friends for lunch, picking up coffee, etc. etc.
 
4 days ago  

amb: In the last 13 months I've driven maybe 1,500 miles. Before the lockdown/wfh started would have done that much in about 7-8 weeks. So I am driving about 1/6 what I normally did before. It would be less, but a couple of times just went for drives to get out of the house.


During lockdown the wife and I called that "Windshield Time" ..... we wouldn't get out of the car, ... just drive.
 
4 days ago  
Joke's on them, I sold my car when weed became legal.
 
4 days ago  
Anecdotal evidence: Working from home does cause me to put more miles on my vehicle than if I were working in the office.  The reason is because when I'm working in the office, I drive 13.7 miles to drop my kid off at my parents' house (hey, free childcare, right?) and then 2.4 miles from there to a Park & Ride, where I board a bus that drops me off literally just across the street from the office.  Reverse that on the way home, and I drive 32.2 miles per day.

Now that I work from home, I drive 13.7 miles to drop her off and then 13.7 miles home, and then repeat the round trip in the afternoon for a total of 54.8 miles per day.

So, working from home increases my vehicle's usage by 22.6 miles per day.
 
4 days ago  

fiddlehead: HugeMistake: If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.

Like:

[Fark user image 644x425]


And that graph doesn't even adjust for population but only accounts for total miles driven. The correlation with recessions would be even stronger if we were talking about miles driven per person, let alone the obvious correlation with working at home.
 
4 days ago  
i drive maybe once a week to go to the liquor store. My other car has been sitting long enough that i have a battery issue.

I used to drive 120minutes every day to commute

It starts right up but the battery doesn't seem to want to hold a charge. So i think its the battery but figured ill bring it in to get it checked anyway
 
4 days ago  
Drive more? I probably should drive more or else my car's battery will die. Had that happen once twice.

My electricity, gas, and water usage is up. I prefer pooping at work so my toilet paper usage is up as well.

If there's anything else I'm forgetting I'm sure somebody will chime in.
 
4 days ago  
This is one of those weird experiences I've been trying to come up with a term for, where someone's arguing something that even if it were true wouldn't prove anything.
 
4 days ago  

brainlordmesomorph: My car sits in the driveway for days or weeks at a time now.

I did drive 3 1/2 hours for my covid shot.


When it became clear we were headed for a lockdown I bought a solar battery charger for my car since I was only driving about 10 minutes total for groceries, and even then it was only about once every 3 weeks.  That's not enough to keep the battery charged - a couple times the starter was sluggish - and the solar charger keeps the battery tip top.
 
4 days ago  

casual disregard: Drive more? I probably should drive more or else my car's battery will die. Had that happen once twice.


That's why I spent $20 on a solar battery charger.  No more issues ;-)
 
4 days ago  

Magnus: Eat The Placenta: dothemath: But how much are they jerking off?

This is a loaded question.

Only for 30 seconds or so.


Ive been packing my own chute since the pandemic started and thats a time I can only clock if I havent rubbed it out in a couple of weeks.
 
4 days ago  

strathmeyer: This is one of those weird experiences I've been trying to come up with a term for, where someone's arguing something that even if it were true wouldn't prove anything.


"Slatesplain"?
 
4 days ago  
No.
 
4 days ago  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
4 days ago  

strathmeyer: This is one of those weird experiences I've been trying to come up with a term for, where someone's arguing something that even if it were true wouldn't prove anything.


The Clinton defence.
 
4 days ago  

fiddlehead: HugeMistake: If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.

Like:

[Fark user image 644x425]


Well that right there does it. TFA's author is a goddamned legend.
 
4 days ago  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: [Fark user image 600x623]


DAVID ZIPPER... aw, come on!
 
4 days ago  
I thought for a second I was reading an article from The Onion.
 
4 days ago  

kindms: i drive maybe once a week to go to the liquor store. My other car has been sitting long enough that i have a battery issue.

I used to drive 120minutes every day to commute

It starts right up but the battery doesn't seem to want to hold a charge. So i think its the battery but figured ill bring it in to get it checked anyway


It probably just needs a nice 20 min freeway run, to challenge the alternator into doing some real work.
 
4 days ago  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: [Fark user image 600x623]


Now that's just silly.

We were zombies before we started working from home.

Once our necromantic overlords bring us back into the office fulltime we will still be zombies.

Oh and all of you "front line" workers? Yeah, they're going to forget you mattered at all. In fact in many cases they already did.
 
4 days ago  

HugeMistake: If Slate cared to, they could answer this question in about 30 seconds by looking up gasoline consumption for the past two years in one of the many databases that they subscribe to for just that purpose.


No, that wouldn't work.  If you read the example they are specifically talking about how people working from home might handle working from home after the pandemic when they might run out to the store in the middle of the day instead of on the way home from work, for instance.

They hedged their language and cited a study.  I suspect in the long run it will decrease driving a bit, but investigating counter intuitive lines of thought is an important part of trying to figure out how the world works.  For instance if you add more lanes to a road and come back a few years down the line there is almost always worse traffic problems than on a similar road that wasn't widened.  Wide, fast roads encourage people to commute farther, so they move farther out, which increases vehicle miles, which increases traffic.

There is also a phenomena where slowing down traffic can actually speed up traffic, particularly in heavy traffic.  If you have heavy high speed traffic small disturbances can cause one car to slam on their brakes and go to zero.  The car behind them does the same thing, and the car behind them.  All of the sudden a line of traffic that was doing 60 is doing 0.  If they'd all been driving 40 the first guy could have seen he only needed to slow down a little bit.  I'm trying to remember where they were doing this... I think one of the sky towns like Aspen.  When traffic was really bad they were basically having cops drive out in front of a long line of traffic and act as pace cars.  The same thing happens when you try to pour balls through a funnel.  If you have just a few balls dropping in then it's fine to let them go all at once.  If you have a lot and you drop them all in at once you jam the funnel and you don't get any throughput at all.  (And actually, the first place I ran into that principle was in an article on Slate.)

Slate got a reputation on Fark for their clickbait Dear Prudie stuff, and they do sometimes give their writers a lot of latitude, but they actually do cover a lot of really good stuff.  Of course most of it's behind a paywall now but it was always a good spot to find good primer articles on subjects other sites weren't talking about.
 
4 days ago  
If anyone want to step up and tell us why every ICE-only vehicle shouldn't ~at least~ be required to have a 48V mild hybrid system attached? All that wasted energy just trying to hump from low speed into a more efficient power band...

/shiat should be mandatory by 2024
//... no, not literally poo.
 
4 days ago  
Additional note, they score 'high' for factual reporting, with only a moderate left bias.  I always find it interesting how many people hate on them on Fark when so many articles on the front page these days are from the Daily Fail.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/slate/​
 
4 days ago  

Wadded Beef: Speaking for myself, I've been WFH for over a year and have not needed to make the 40-mile round trip from my house to the office. Sure, I do the occasional errand but it's all within the neighborhood. I've probably saved over 10K miles on my car.

/CSB.


I haven't been able to take my gulf stream anywhere. It sucks.
 
4 days ago  

HoratioGates: Additional note, they score 'high' for factual reporting, with only a moderate left bias.  I always find it interesting how many people hate on them on Fark when so many articles on the front page these days are from the Daily Fail.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/slate/


Because most of their article are paid per word, word-salad op-eds and blogs.
 
4 days ago  
Well, I have filled my gas tank 3 times in the last year.  I was doing it weekly.

Granted, when Covid goes away I will be going out more. But I don't think the weekly trip to the grocery store is going compete with the 40 miles a day for work.
 
4 days ago  
When I worked at an office I regularly drove 70+ miles a day. Since working from home I might drive 4 miles a day at most, usually to get to the Appalachian trail to spend what used to be my commuting hours for a walk in the woods.
 
4 days ago  
It's anecdotal, but since my last vehicle inspection in August, I have put on 859 miles on my car and purchased 4 tanks of gasoline.  that extrapolates out to about 1500 miles and 6.5 tanks of gas for the year.

In previous years, I averaged ~3800mi/year and 16 tanks of gas...

So for my very small case study with n=1: no.  It has not increased my driving.
 
4 days ago  

strathmeyer: This is one of those weird experiences I've been trying to come up with a term for, where someone's arguing something that even if it were true wouldn't prove anything.


I'm trying to find a gif of Bart saying "what if, Milhouse, what if?" But I don't think that actually happened.

Maybe the Irish cop from the bugs bunny with "you might, rabbit, you might"
 
4 days ago  
I used to have to fill up once a week. I had to fill up this weekend and I tried to remember the last time I had filled up and I wasn't able to. It was probably before winter.
 
4 days ago  

HoratioGates: Additional note, they score 'high' for factual reporting, with only a moderate left bias.  I always find it interesting how many people hate on them on Fark when so many articles on the front page these days are from the Daily Fail.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/slate/


Can't be marked for biased coverage if you choose to simply not cover certain important things. *taps temple with index finger a couple times*

(like, say, things that the top-notch investigative reporters at the intercept keep uncovering, that slate really doesn't want to discuss cough corruption within democratic party ancient leadership and their minions, because hey the gop is worse)
 
4 days ago  
Great.  Slate has discovered hypothetical outliers.

When I stopped going into the office every day about 10 years ago, that gave me back around 2 hours I had booked for commuting.  I was going into the office twice a week instead of 5 times, so suddenly 6 more hours in a given week.  Certain tasks I'd previously had to wait until the weekend to do I could manage after work.  Like mow the lawn and other chores.  What I didn't do was leave the house more. Allowed me to not have to replace a car as quickly.  It added up.
 
4 days ago  
If there is a silver lining in teleworking inducing more driving, it's that we can probably accommodate teleworkers' travel with the existing road network, without requiring further expansion. That's because teleworkers' journeys often consume excess highway and street capacity, occurring outside of rush hour and away from major commute corridors. And because the transportation network is built to accommodate peak commute volumes, even slightly fewer rush-hour trips would reduce the need for new or wider highways.

Even if telework increases driving (which I seriously doubt), it would mostly shift mileage from rush hour peak times to other times.  This would reduce pollution (less idling or near-idling in heavy traffic) and make the rush hour crunch less horrible, and those other times would mostly have excess road capacity.  Still a net positive even in the worst case scenario.
 
4 days ago  
Depends on how far the liqueur store is from their house.
 
4 days ago  
I'm actually getting a break on my insurance. I've filled up my tank three times in the last year.
 
4 days ago  

RiverRat: amb: In the last 13 months I've driven maybe 1,500 miles. Before the lockdown/wfh started would have done that much in about 7-8 weeks. So I am driving about 1/6 what I normally did before. It would be less, but a couple of times just went for drives to get out of the house.
During lockdown the wife and I called that "Windshield Time" ..... we wouldn't get out of the car, ... just drive.



"Going for a drive" is a time-honored American tradition. My mother used to make us all go for a Sunday drive. That's what she called it too.
 
4 days ago  
Oh lord.  Slate hires, and writes for, the terminally disorganized.

I deliberately pick where I live and what businesses I patronize so that most, if not all, of my needs (grocery store, other shopping, gym, etc.) tend to be along the line of my commute.

Working from home means that I can't stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up that one thing I forgot, and have to make a 'special' trip for it, but it's certainly less time and distance in the car than making that trek 5 times a week.
 
4 days ago  
Does Slate *know* how stupid they are?

Does Slate know *we* know how stupid they are?

Does anybody really know what time it is?
 
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