Vehicle Miles Traveled Continue to Increase from 2021

New figures from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) show that while vehicle miles traveled continue to increase for Americans as compared to 2021, the rate of that increase has slowed compared to February and March. While year-over-year increases for February were higher than 10%, for April and May 2022, those figures were only 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively.

Four of the five regions in the U.S. also saw upticks to road miles traveled compared to the previous year. The Northeast experienced a 2.9% increase in vehicle miles traveled, a total of more than 33 billion, in April 2022 compared to April 2021.

The administration’s traffic trends for April 2022 show a 3.9 billion increase in vehicle miles, or 1.5%, over April 2021. Overall travel for the month is reported at 263.1 billion vehicle miles and 270.7 miles when seasonally adjusted. The latter figure marks a 0.9% decrease, or 2.4 billion vehicle miles, when compared to March 2022.

Cumulative travel in 2022 changed by 4.5%, or 44 billion vehicle miles. The cumulative estimate for the year is 1,016.7 billion vehicle miles of travel, according to the administration.

Four of the five regions in the U.S. also saw upticks to road miles traveled compared to the previous year. The Northeast experienced a 2.9% increase in vehicle miles traveled, a total of more than 33 billion, in April 2022 compared to April 2021.

The South Atlantic recorded approximately 58.6 billion miles for a more than 3.5% increase over April 2021 figures. North-Central saw a 0.1% decrease with 57.1 billion miles traveled, and the South-Gulf a 0.9% increase with 56.5 billion miles clocked. The West’s figures rose to 57.6 billion vehicle miles, a 0.9% increase over the same time last year.

Figures for May 2022 experienced similar trends.

The administration reports a 3.6 billion increase in vehicle miles traveled, or 1.3%, compared to May 2021. Overall travel for the month is reported at 288 billion vehicle miles and 271.3 miles when seasonally adjusted. The adjusted figure marks a 0.9% increase over numbers from one year prior and a 0.3% increase of 0.8 billion miles when compared to April 2022.

Cumulative travel in 2022 changed by 3.8% or 47.8 billion vehicle miles. The cumulative estimate for the year is 1,304.8 billion vehicle miles of travel.

Again, four of the five U.S. regions experienced increases in miles traveled in May 2022. The Northeast saw a 1.6% increase with 37.6 billion vehicle miles and the South Atlantic a 2.4% increase with 63.7 billion vehicle miles recorded.  Data for the North Central region shows a 1.5% increase and 64.4 billion vehicle miles, while the South-Gulf experienced a 1.6% increase and recorded 60.3 billion miles. The West, however, saw a 0.6% decrease with 61.9 billion miles recorded.

The chart below was provided by the FHA and features estimated vehicle miles of travel by region for May 2022 (in billions).

RegionTotal Travel Percentage Change
Northeast 37.61.6
South Atlantic 63.72.4
North Central 64.41.5
South Gulf60.31.6
West61.9-0.6

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