US Regions Show Slight Changes in Vehicle Miles Traveled

New figures from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) show that vehicle miles traveled in most of the five regions in the U.S. are trending upward, though only slightly. For September 2022, the South Atlantic region saw the biggest jump from one year prior with a 2% increase.

The administration’s traffic trends for September 2022 show a 2.8 billion increase in vehicle miles, or 1%, over September 2021. Overall travel for the month was 280.8 billion vehicle miles and 274.4 billion miles when seasonally adjusted. The former includes 87.9 billion vehicle miles on rural roads and 192.9 billion vehicle miles on urban roads and streets, while the latter figure marks a 0.7% increase, or 1.9 billion vehicle miles, when compared to August 2022.

Only one of the regions in the U.S., North Central, saw a decrease in estimated vehicle miles of travel. The region experienced a 0.2% decrease from September 2021 to 62.1 billion miles in September 2022.

Cumulative travel in 2022 changed by 1.6%, or 39 billion vehicle miles. The cumulative estimate for the year is 2,444.7 billion vehicle miles of travel, according to the administration.

Only one of the regions in the U.S., North Central, saw a decrease in estimated vehicle miles of travel. The region experienced a 0.2% decrease from September 2021 to 62.1 billion miles in September 2022.

The South Atlantic recorded approximately 61.4 billion miles for a 2% increase over September 2021 figures. The South Gulf saw a 1.9% increase with 57.8 billion miles clocked. Vehicles in the West traveled 62.1 billion vehicle miles, a 1% increase over the same time last year, while the Northeast did not record a percentage change from one year prior with its 37.3 billion miles.

The chart below by the FHA features estimated vehicle miles of travel by region for September 2022 (in billions) as compared to September 2021.

September 2022 Estimated Vehicle Miles By Region

Region Total Travel Percentage Change
North East 37.3 0.0
South Atlantic 61.4 2.0
North Central 62.1 -0.2
South Gulf 57.8 1.9
West 62.1 1.0

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