TAMPA, Fla. -- Will our morning commute ever return to normal? Our Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson asked researchers at the Centers for Urban Transportation Research. 

What You Need To Know

  • Researchers say break in traffic could continue for a while

  • Employers could influence how employees choose to commute

If you've been one of the few who still gets in the car and drives to work every day, you know how empty the highways have been. 

In years past we've talked about transit, car pooling, and adding more capacity to our roads to ease those delays, but with one word -- coronavirus, traffic jams may have become a thing of the past. 

The most dramatic difference in traffic occurred on I-4. 

While more cars are now back on the roads lately, it certainly hasn't bounced back to what we'd call normal. And it may not for a long time. 

"I think one thing we've learned, one of the positives out of this, is that a lot of people can actually work from home and I think that employers have learned that too," said Phillip Winters, Researcher for the Center for Urban Transportation Research. 

Winters speculates this break from rush hour may be around for a long time past the coronavirus if employers continue to allow work from home, or perhaps create multiple shift times to keep us socially distant, even at the office. 

"Just one example of how employers actually can strongly influence how their employees choose to commute and where they choose to commute to," Winters said. 

Another question is about 24 hour work zones. As people return to work and on the roads, at what point will they return to an overnight-only approach to road construction. 

Researchers at the Center for Urban Transportation are having those discussions internally now.