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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Strong Economy Has Americans Driving More than Ever Before

Thursday, March 21, 2019
U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, Follow us on Twitter @USDOTFHWA

FHWA 05-19
Contact: Mike Reynard
Tel: (202) 366-0660

Latest Estimates Show Nation Drove 3.225 Trillion Miles In 2018

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released new data today showing total U.S. driving in 2018 surged to a record-setting 3.225 trillion vehicle-miles traveled (VMT).

“Record-setting vehicle-miles traveled reflects a robust economy, lower gas prices and is another reason to ensure that America’s roads and bridges are well-maintained and modernized to improve safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The 3.225 trillion miles driven in 2018 represents an increase of 12.2 billion miles over the previous year.

Demand for cargo and delivery services are also setting records. In 2017 and 2018, the U.S. saw more demand for freight than ever before. In December 2018, the Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) was up 2.9 percent from December 2017 and up 9.8 percent from December 2016, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

The U.S. Department of Transportation remains committed to investing in improvements to infrastructure, and furthering the department’s ongoing efforts to reduce the federal regulatory burden so that road and bridge projects can be delivered more quickly.

The new data published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that, combined, all miles driven on public roads and highways in 2018 is the highest on record. It is also the fifth year in a row to top 3 trillion miles traveled.

The December 2018 “Traffic Volume Trends” report also includes seasonally adjusted data, which is calculated by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, as a way to account for seasonal variation in travel and enable VMT comparisons with any other month in any year. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

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