A reluctance to use public transport or share cars because of COVID-19 could be leading to a huge increase in traffic volumes.
That's according to motoring expert Geraldine Herbert, who was speaking as the number of cars on Irish roads is almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show car traffic volumes are now at 87% of July 2019 levels in the Dublin area, and 90% in regional locations.
There was a large increase of 36% for clearances of petrol in June this year compared with last year - but volumes were 9% below June 2019.
While the number of new cars licensed in July rose by 4,903 compared with July 2020 - and by 1,491 vehicles compared with July of 2019.
Geraldine told Newstalk Breakfast there could be public health reasons for this.
"I wasn't surprised in the sense that anyone on the road regularly at the moment knows that traffic volumes have just been steadily growing over the past few months.
"I was surprised, through, that they're up at almost 90% of 2019 given the fact that a lot of us are still working from home.
"What we need to consider is there's still a reluctance to use public transport, people maybe who were sharing cars going to work and giving other people a lift are probably not doing that anymore."
But she says this could change as we're "still living in a fairly abnormal situation".
And she says a drop in road deaths is again seeing a return to normality.
"What's interesting about those figures, about the deaths going down, is that's actually again going back to normal.
"Since 2010, the general trend in that decade was that fatalities were falling year-on-year.
"2020 was an aberration - unlike most of the other European countries, we actually experienced an increase... on road deaths.
"So at least, when we see these figures coming down, that's sort of going back to 2019 when road deaths were actually falling".
Statistician Nele van der Wielen says: "Today's figures from the CSO show that car traffic volumes increased over the first seven months of 2021 in line with the gradual lifting of travel restrictions.
"Latest available data for the week beginning 26th July show that the volume of private cars in regional locations are 8% higher than in the same week of 2020, however, car traffic volumes are still 10% lower than in week 30 of 2019.
"Today's release also shows that figures for new cars licensed rose above 2019 levels.
"The number of new cars licensed for the first time in July 2021 was 20,232 compared with 15,329 in July 2020 and 18,741 in July 2019."