U.S. miles driven in 2015 reaches 3.15 trillion, breaking previous 2007 record

Updated Feb 24, 2016

highway-traffic-generic-2Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for all of 2015 reached 3.15 trillion, a figure that breaks the previous record of 3 trillion miles in 2007, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) most recent Traffic Volume Trends report.

The report also shows that the monthly estimate for December reached 264.2 billion miles, a 4.2 percent increase compared to the same month in 2014.

The seasonally adjusted figure for the month was 268.5 billion miles, which is a new record for a monthly VMT. It represented a 4-percent increase compared to 2014 and a 1.4-percent increase compared to November 2015.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) creates the seasonally adjusted VMT to “even out seasonal variation in travel and enable VMT comparisons with any other month in any year.”

All five regions of the U.S. showed an increase in VMT for December, with the 13-state West region having the highest unadjusted miles at 61.6 billion, a 6.9-percent rise. The North Central region reached 58.5 billion miles (3.0 percent increase), followed by the South Atlantic region at 54.9 billion miles (4.4 percent increase), the South Gulf with 50.5 billion (3.0 percent increase) and the Northeast at 38.7 billion mile (3.0 percent increase).

California had the highest increase at 11.3 percent VMT, with Hawaii second (7.2 percent) and Arkansas third (6.2 percent). Washington, D.C., had the largest decrease in VMT, with a 4.6 percent drop.

The current monthly Traffic Volume Report and figures from previous years are available here.