TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: U.S. driving surpasses 3.1 trillion miles in 2015, new federal data shows

Feb. 23, 2016

FHWA year-end report shows that U.S. drivers traveled a total of 3.1 trillion miles in 2015

New data released by the U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving reached 3.148 trillion miles by the end of 2015, topping the previous record of 3.003 trillion miles in 2007.

The December 2015 report also included seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by U.S. DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable VMT comparisons with any other month in any year.

The seasonally-adjusted vehicle miles traveled for December 2015 were 268.5 billion miles, a new monthly record for seasonally-adjusted VMT. December VMT increased by 4% compared to the previous December and by 1.4% compared with seasonally-adjusted November 2015 figures. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel. The December seasonally-adjusted road travel reached a new high, showing that even when adjusting for holiday travel on both a year-to-year and month-to-month basis road travel has achieved a new record level.

In December, U.S. drivers increased total mileage among all five regions of the U.S. Traffic in the West—a 13-state region including Alaska and Hawaii—led the nation with 61.6 billion unadjusted VMT. With  38.7 billion unadjusted VMT, the Northeast—a nine-state area stretching from Pennsylvania to Maine—had the least.

California ahd the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase (11.3%) compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Hawaii at 7.2% and Arkansas at 6.2%. At 4.6%, Washington, D.C., had the largest unadjusted traffic single-month decrease.