Thursday, March 19, 2009

DOT: U.S. Vehicle Miles Off 3.1% in January

by Calculated Risk on 3/19/2009 11:49:00 AM

The Dept of Transportation reports on U.S. Traffic Volume Trends:

[T]ravel during January 2009 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -3.1 percent (-7.0 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 222.4 billion vehicle-miles.
Vehicle Miles DrivenClick on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven since 1971.

The second graph shows the annual change in the rolling 12 month average of U.S. vehicles miles driven. Note: the rolling 12 month average is used to remove noise and seasonality.

Vehicle Miles Driven By this measure, vehicle miles driven are off 3.6% Year-over-year (YoY); the decline in miles driven is worse than during the early '70s and 1979-1980 oil crisis.

As the DOT noted, miles driven in January 2009 were 3.1% less than January 2008.

Even with much lower gasoline prices in January 2009 ($1.84 per gallon) compared to January 2008 ($3.09 per gallon), the total vehicle miles driven is less because of the weaker economy.