The Great Driving Reduction Continues
According to data recently released from the Federal Highway Administration, travel on all roads and streets in the U.S. fell by -3.1% in January 2009 compared to January 2008. This marks the 15th consecutive month of traffic volume decline (starting in Nov. 2007) compared to the same month in the previous year. The 12-month moving total for traffic volume has fallen for 14 consecutive months, going back to December 2007 (see chart above).
The 12-month moving total for January is the lowest traffic volume (2,916 billion miles) in any month since February 2004. Further, the 110 billion mile reduction in the 12-month moving total since January 2008 (3,026 billion), represents about a $16 billion reduction in fuel costs for American drivers, at an average fuel efficiency of 23 m.p.g., and an average fuel cost of $3 in 2008.
Thanks to John Thacker, who comments that "As the great driving reduction proceeds in its second year, it shows no particular signs of slowing. The 12-month moving total of Vehicle Miles Traveled is now below that of March 2004, with a larger population and number of vehicles."