Driving statistics

Summer is peak travel time in the U.S. Families pile into their cars and drive all over the country. Despite people being more conservative with travel because of ever-increasing gas prices, traffic still affects everyone in the U.S.

The Federal Highway Administration and the Texas Transportation Institute report the following facts about driving in the U.S.:

  • In 2006, Americans drove more than 3 trillion miles; this is about twice the total mileage traveled in 1980 and more than four times the total mileage traveled in 1957.
  • Between 2005 and 2006, U.S. drivers increased the total distance driven by 43.9 billion miles-equivalent to about six trips to Pluto and back.
  • Fatal crashes decreased by 1.7 percent from 2005 to 2006, and the fatality rate decreased to 1.41 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2006.
  • The injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel fell by 5.6 percent from 2005 to 2006.
  • Alcohol-related fatalities fell from 60 percent in 1982 to 41 percent in 2006.
  • In 2006, midnight to 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays was the time period during which the most fatal crashes occurred.
  • Nearly 95 percent of the 10.6 million vehicles involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2006 were passenger cars or light trucks.
  • In 2005, the annual delay per peak traveler, which is the extra time spent traveling at congested speeds divided by the number of people traveling during the peak period, was 38 hours; it was 14 hours in 1982.
  • The total travel delay for the U.S. in 2005 was 4.2 billion hours.
  • Delay and fuel cost $78 billion in 2005.

This Web exclusive information is a supplement to Safe Solutions.