The Great Driving Reduction Continues
According to data released today from the Federal Highway Administration, travel on all roads and streets in the United States fell by -0.9% in February 2009 compared to February 2008. This marks the 16th consecutive month of traffic volume decline (starting in Nov. 2007) compared to the same month in the previous year. The moving 12-month total for traffic volume has fallen for 15 consecutive months, going back to December 2007 (see chart above).
The 12-month moving total for January is the lowest traffic volume (2,917 billion miles) in any month since February 2004. Further, the 107 billion mile reduction in the 12-month moving total since February 2008 (3,024 billion), represents about a $14 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 recently commented 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 (2,917 billion) is now below that of March 2004 (2,918 billion), with a larger population and more vehicles."