Americans Drove More Than 3 Trillion Miles in '06
Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration show that Americans drove 3,033,753,000,000 miles in 2006, the most recent year for which statistics are available. This is the highest figure ever recorded for the nation and represents the 27th consecutive increase in surface transportation, an indicator of overall traffic congestion nationally. That figure is roughly double the total mileage traveled in 1980 and more than four times the total mileage traveled in 1957, the interstate system's first year of existence.
In 2006, drivers increased the total distance driven by 43.9 billion miles--the equivalent of nearly 6 trips to Pluto and back--over the previous year's totals.
Total vehicle registration, which indicates the total inventory of vehicles driving, increased slightly over the previous year to 244,165,686 vehicles, which includes motorcycles. This is the fourth consecutive year vehicle registration has increased and continues a trend broken only infrequently since 1900, the earliest year for which such data are available.
The data will be published in Highway Statistics 2006, an annual compilation of data reported to FHWA by all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The Highway Statistics series, which consists of statistical data on motor fuel, motor vehicles, driver licensing, highway-user taxation, state and local government highway finance, has been produced each year since 1945. For information, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/.