Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration has American drivers logging a total of 2,154,571,000,000 miles this year to date — that’s 2.15 trillion — the most vehicle miles traveled during the first eight months of a calendar year since 2019.
How much did the pandemic impact vehicle traffic?
According to the USAFacts America in Facts 2023 report, the number of miles driven in the US increased at an average rate of two percent annually between 1970 and 2019. In 2020, fewer people traveled to work, school, or other destinations due to the pandemic, and vehicle miles dropped 11 percent. Miles driven rose again in 2021, 2022, and the first eight months of 2023.
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What kinds of roads are people driving on?
Over the first eight months of 2023, city streets were the most trafficked, with nearly 1.48 trillion vehicle miles traveled, followed by arterial roads in urban areas with 749.4 billion. (“Arterial roads” supplement the interstate highway system and include freeways and multilane highways in urban areas.) Rural interstates were traveled the least, with a total of 179.3 billion miles.
Which states are seeing the largest increases in vehicle traffic?
Forty-eight states reported an annual increase in vehicle miles traveled on all roads in August 2023, with 31 states recording an increase of two percent or more. Rhode Island (4.4%), Texas (4.1%), North Dakota (3.8%), and California (3.8%) registered the biggest increases from August 2022 to August 2023. Oregon (-0.1%) and Hawaii (-1.6%) were the only states to record a decrease during that period.