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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven decreased 1.4% in March compared to March 2010

by Calculated Risk on 5/25/2011 05:52:00 PM

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported that vehicle miles driven in March were down 1.4% compared to March 2010:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by -1.4% (-3.5 billion vehicle miles) for March 2011 as compared with March 2010. Travel for the month is estimated to be 250.4 billion vehicle miles.

Cumulative Travel for 2011 changed by -0.1% (-0.8 billion vehicle miles).
Vehicle Miles Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven.

Note: in the early '80s, miles driven (rolling 12 months) stayed below the previous peak for 39 months. Currently miles driven has been below the previous peak for 40 months - so this is a new record for longest period below the previous peak - and still counting!

Vehicle Miles Driven YoYThe second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year. So far the current decline is not as a severe as in 2008.

U.S. oil prices in March averaged $103 per barrel, and although prices have declined in May from the April highs, prices have only fallen to just below the prices in March. Also other sources have reported demand for gasoline is down in April and May, so I expect the data for April to show a sharp year-over-year decline in miles driven.