Vehicle Travel Rises over 2008 for Fifth Consecutive Month
October 26, 2009

Travel on U.S. roads and highways continued to increase for the month of August for the fifth month in a row. Miles driven on the nation’s roads were up by 0.7 percent over August 2008, an increase of 1.9 billion vehicle driven miles, according to the latest report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), a division of the Department of Transportation—for a total of 259.0 billion vehicle driven miles.

Vehicle Miles Driven by Region
(all in billions except totals)

August 2008 August 2009 Percent Change
Northeast 40.0
39.8 -0.4
South Atlantic
52.7
53.4 +1.3
North Central
57.8
57.7 -0.2
South Gulf
50.3
51.1 +1.7
West
56.4
57.1 +1.2
Total
257.1
259.0 +0.7
Source: Federal Highway Administration

When compared with July, however, travel was down by 4.4 billion miles—from 263.4 billion in July 2009 to 259.0 billion in August.

Cumulative travel for the year also is up slightly over 2008. As of the end of August in
2008, 1,966.9 billion vehicle miles had been driven, compared with 1,967.8 billion for the same period of 2009.

Despite several increases overall when compared with 2008, travel was actually down from 2008 in the North-East (by 0.4 percent) and the North-Central (by 0.2 percent) regions. The South-Atlantic, South-Gulf and West regions, however, saw a boost during the same period.

Travel has risen continually over the previous year since April 2009, according to reports from FHA, which saw the first increase in a year over the previous year—of 0.6 percent.

Are you seeing any increases in business? Do you think the Recovery Act is helping? Please e-mail pstacey@glass.com.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.