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Miles Traveled Dropped 1.8 Percent in April, DOT Reports

Travel during April 2008 on all roads and streets in the United States dropped 1.8 percent from April 2007 at an estimated total of 245.9 billion vehicle-driven miles, according to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHA). This includes 83.1 billion miles driven on rural roads and 162.8 billion miles driven on urban roads and streets.

Miles driven dropped .1 percent from the prior month, March 2008, during which 246.2 billion miles were driven.

When broken down by region, miles driven compared to April 2007 were down in all regions except the Northeast.

Estimated Miles Driven by Region - April 2008
(in billions)

Region
Total Travel in April 2008
Percentage Change
Northeast
36.4
+1.4 percent
South-Atlantic
52.9
-2.6 percent
North-Central
54.4
-2.1 percent
South-Gulf
48.3
-1.5 percent
West
53.8
-2.8 percent

For cumulative miles driven throughout the year, current numbers are down 2.1 percent from 2007; at this point last year, 955.3 billion cumulative vehicle miles had been driven, while this year, only 934.8 billion cumulative miles had been driven as of this April.

However, the FHA's estimates for a rolling 12-month cumulative estimate is down just .9 percent from this point last year. For the last 12 months, the FHA estimates that 2,981,806 vehicle miles were driven, down from 3,009,492 at the same point in 2007.

Last year's summer months were the highest of the year in miles driven-but data is not yet available for this summer, and only time will tell whether current gas prices ranging from averages of $3.83 in Tucson to $4.57 in San Francisco, according to gasbuddy.com, will keep drivers home this summer.

CLICK HERE for a related story about the effect the decrease in miles driven is having on one insurance company.

Are you seeing a decrease in summer driving in your area? Are you finding business is down-or about average-based on this? Please e-mail us at pstacey@glass.com.

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