Travel on American highways climbed to an all-time high in 2005, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters.
According to the newly released "Highway Statistics 2005," an annual compilation of data reported to the FHWA by all U.S. states and territories, Americans drove nearly three trillion miles on American highways last year. This figure--2,989,807,000,000 vehicle miles traveled--represents 27.4 billion mile increase over travel in 2004 and nearly 25% more than in 1995.
"These figures underscore the importance of our efforts to fight traffic congestion," said Secretary Peters. "It is clear that our ability to keep traffic moving smoothly and safely is key to keeping our economy strong."
There were 241.2 million vehicles registered in the U.S. last year, including 6.2 million motorcycles--the most ever recorded in both categories.
"America is the most mobile nation in history," Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka said, "as these new data show, our interstate is every bit the critical infrastructure President Eisenhower foresaw 50 years ago when he created it."
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.
To view "Highway Statistics 2005" or its predecessors, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/hsspubs.htm.