FHWA says 2015 could go down as the most heavily traveled year ever

Updated Jan 27, 2016

TrafficjamThe Federal Highway Administration has released it’s November Traffic Volume Trends report showing that by the end of that month, U.S. driving reached 2.88 trillion miles, a sign that 2015 could be the most heavily traveled year ever.

November alone marked 253 billion miles driven, with a seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled (VMT) figure of 264 billion miles, an increase of 3.4 percent year-over-year. The report, which includes information gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), includes passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

All of the regions tracked by BTS showed an increase in total mileage for the month.

The 13-state West region had the most at 59 billion (5.5-percent increase) unadjusted VMT, followed by the 12-state North Central region at 55.5 billion (3.7-percent growth), eight-state South Atlantic with 53.5 billion (5.1-percent growth), eight-state South Gulf region with 50 billion (3.6-percent growth) and the nine-state Northeast region with 35.2 billion (2.9-percent increase).

Top states in unadjusted VMT growth included Hawaii (8.9 percent), Idaho (7.7 percent) and Florida (7 percent). The largest decrease in an observed area was Washington, D.C., which had a drop of 3.9 percent.

The majority of the VMT is on urban roads and streets at 173.9 billion, with the remaining 79.3 billion on rural roads.

In 2010, the year-to-date figure for total VMT was 2.73 trillion, in 2005 it was 2.74 trillion, in 2000 it was 2.57 trillion and in 1995 it was 2.23 trillion. The figure for 2015 is the highest to date.

The Traffic Volume Trends report data is available here, including reports going back to 1970.