Earlier this week, Kevin Nursick, the director of communications for the state Department of Transportation, had a question for a colleague who works on road-construction sites.

“I asked him how he would classify the reduction [of vehicles] now that people are staying home because of the coronavirus,” Nursick said. “He said he thought it was down by about one-third from typical rates.”

That was an underestimate.

Connecticut’s daily traffic volume was down more than 38 percent (from the same date last year) for the most recent six-day stretch (March 19-24) measured by 21 automated traffic counters that operate continuously at various sites on state roads, including I-95, I-84, I-91, and the Merritt Parkway.

Traffic volume was lower by more than 43 percent on three consecutive days (March 21-23) before increasing to negative-38.6 percent on March 24, the most recent day for which statistics were available.

“If you look at the numbers you see that the trend really started on March 13, when traffic volume was down 12.3 percent,” Nursick said. “A few days later it was down by a little more than 20 percent, and then it really got lower after that.

“It’s pretty obvious that the reduced traffic volume coincides with people working from home and only going out when they really need to,” Nursick added. “March 13 looks to be the day people began staying off the roads.”

Many schools and businesses have closed temporarily during the last two weeks, and an executive order issued by Gov. Ned Lamont that went into effect Monday night requests that all non-essential businesses have their employees work from home.

“It’s likely that the traffic volume will remain much lower for a while,” Nursick said. “People are heeding the warnings about coronavirus and not leaving the house.”

The break in traffic is allowing the DOT to facilitate construction work on its Route 8/I-84 Interchange (Mixmaster) rehabilitation project in Waterbury, with lane closures extended to weekdays and weekends.

“That’s the irony of the situation, that more work can be done without causing traffic delays,” Nursick said. “We are looking into whether we could do the same with some of our other projects.”

Less traffic has also meant a workload reduction for AAA Northeast, which services three counties (Fairfield, New Haven, Litchfield) in Connecticut.

“We’ve seen a 40 percent drop in volume,” said Fran Mayko, a Triple A Northeast spokesperson. “That is for our region, which also includes Rhode Island, Massachusetts, parts of New York, including New York City and Long Island, and a portion of northern New Jersey. But it’s probably safe to say that the service calls are down around 40 percent in Connecticut. Most of the calls are for cars with dead batteries in people’s garages, driveways or parking spots.”

Mayko said that AAA (which is considered an essential business) has installed protocols for its service calls.

“If someone is stranded, the tow driver can’t give that person a ride, which is something we were able to do previously,” Mayko said. “We will help the person find a ride — we are not going to leave them on the side of the road — but we can’t drive them home.”

For those drivers who still must commute to work, a silver lining awaits at the pump. Thursday’s state average price of $2.22 per gallon (of regular gas) is the lowest in Connecticut since Aug. 16, 2016, according to Mayko.

“It dropped two cents overnight and is down 33 cents from this time last month and 48 cents from this time last year,” Mayko said. “It’s a good time if you need to fill the tank.”