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Friday, March 23, 2012

DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 1.6% in January

by Calculated Risk on 3/23/2012 04:30:00 PM

The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported:

Travel on all roads and streets changed by +1.6% (3.5 billion vehicle miles) for January 2012 as compared with January 2011. Travel for the month is estimated to be 224.8 billion vehicle miles.
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven.

Even with a small year-over-year increase in December, the rolling 12 month total is mostly moving sideways.

Vehicle Miles Click on graph for larger image.

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 50 months - and still counting!

The second graph shows the year-over-year change from the same month in the previous year.

Vehicle Miles Driven YoY This is the second consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in miles driven - for the first time since 2010.

Looking back, gasoline prices (regular) were around $3.06 per gallon in January 2011, and averaged $3.33 per gallon this year. Even though prices are up sharply over the last couple of months, prices also increased quickly last year in March and April - so we might not see a year-over-year decline in miles driven in the coming months.