American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
That’s equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office, and is a figure that continues to rise.
In the past year, 87.5 percent of Americans age 16 and older reported driving, and each of these drivers logged nearly 10,900 miles on average and spent more than 290 hours on the road. Between 2014 and 2015 the total number of miles Americans drove increased 2.4 percent to a total of 2.45 trillion miles.
“It’s clear that traveling by car remains a central part of American’s lives,” said Jurek Grabowski, research director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The AAA Foundation’s American Driving Survey is the most current and comprehensive look at how much Americans drive on a daily and yearly basis. The most recent survey results include:
- Gender: On average, men report driving 2,314 more miles than women per year and spend 18 percent more time behind the wheel.
- Number of Vehicles: More than 86 percent of U.S. households have at least one car for every driver in the home and 28 percent report having more cars than drivers.
- Age: Drivers age 30-49 drive an average of 13,506 miles annually, more than any other age group. Seniors older than 75 years drive fewer miles (5,840 annually) than teenagers (7,551 annually).
- Location: Motorists in the Midwest and Southern regions drive more (11,295 miles annually), compared to those in the Northeast (9,328 miles annually).
- Type of Vehicle: More than 50 percent of miles driven by Americans are done in cars, followed by SUVs (20 percent), pickup trucks (17 percent) and vans (7.9 percent). Men report doing a much greater share of their driving in pickup trucks compared to women.
- Passengers: More than 66 percent of total driving trips and nearly 62 percent of total miles driven are done by drivers without a passenger in the vehicle. Women are 24 percent more likely than men to have a passenger in the vehicle.
- Seasons: On average, Americans drive the most during the fall (October through December) at 31.5 miles daily, and drive the least during the winter (January through March) at 26.2 miles daily.
The new survey results are part of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual American Driving Survey, which reveals the driving habits of the American public. The survey data are from a sample of 5,774 drivers who provided information about their daily driving trips in calendar years from 2014 and 2015.
Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 300 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org for more information on this and other research.
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