Magazine article USA TODAY

Americans Still Shun Air Travel. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Americans Still Shun Air Travel. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will continue to have an impact on American travelers throughout 2002. We may begin to go places at nearly the same rates as before, but not with our previous sense of security, according to Jay Lindly, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and a researcher with the University Transportation Center, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. "Everyone does dwell on the ... attacks, and this unease won't disappear quickly. Although we may be known for our short attention spans, Americans will not forget this. This is different than anything we've faced before."

Travel numbers by most modes of transportation were way down in the days and weeks following the attacks. People wanted to stay close to home, their families, and familiar surroundings, so there were fewer traveling by highways and railways, as well as in the air. While many Americans have begun to travel again, their patterns of travel have changed, along with their sense of safety during trips.

Highway statistics in 2002 will meet expectations for a normal year, Lindly predicts. "People will be using their cars, especially since gasoline prices are low, and don't seem to have a reason to move up until summer, but air travel will continue to be somewhat depressed. …

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