Breaking News
More () »

Is pandemic travel safer by car or plane? We asked a doctor

9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli said it's all about how much contact you have with other people.

DENVER — This Next question comes from a viewer named Peter who asked:

“The CDC has now said that fully-vaccinated people can travel safely … this is reported widely, but in the discussion, only air travel is mentioned. My question is, what is the relative difference in safety between air trip and a road trip?” 

We passed this question along to 9Health Medical Expert Dr. Payal Kohli, who said that it all comes down to the number of people you’ll be around (a refrain you’ve probably heard before during the pandemic).

“When deciding the risk between air and road travel, you want to ask yourself the question: which will expose you to more people?” Kohli said. “And you have to go with the option that isn’t going to expose you to as many.”

RELATED: Airport crowds, airline ticket sales show travel recovering

RELATED: AAA study finds more Coloradans are willing to travel during pandemic

OK but really … car or plane?

“I think a road trip would be safer, even if you stop overnight because the number of people you come into contact with is by definition far less than a crowded place like an airport,” she said.

With that being said, Kohli conceded that air travel is getting safer. Roughly one in five Coloradans are fully vaccinated, and a third have at least some protection from one dose.

“And, as you know, there’s a lot of safety measures on planes to make sure the actual time you’re on the plane is safe as well,” she said.

SUGGESTED VIDEOFull Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark

Before You Leave, Check This Out