Americans drive nearly twice as many miles as they did in 1980, but miles of public roads have barely increased (6 percent). Simply maintaining those roads in their current state costs $101 billion a year. Drivers log an average of 13,476 miles per year, or 37 miles a day. The number of Americans with driver’s licenses increased 45 percent, from 145 million in 1980 to 210 million in 2010. We spend more than twice as much time in traffic congestion – 14 hours per year in 1982 to 34 per year in 2010.
The asphalt’s getting crowdedReleased Jan. 26, 2013
Americans are driving more miles and sitting in more traffic than ever before. It's taking a toll on roads.
- DOT: Federal Highway Administration 2010 Highway Statistics: Licensed Drivers, Vehicle Registrations, and Resident Population
- DOT: Federal Highway Administration 2010 Highway Statistics: Vehicle Registrations, Fuel Consumption, and Vehicle Miles of Travel as Indices
- Congressional Budget Office Economic and Budget Issue Brief: Spending and Funding for Highways
- DOT: Federal Highway Administration: 2010 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions & Performance
- Texas Transportation Institute at The Texas A&M University System: 2011 Urban Mobility Report
What do others say?
: The Economist: “Life in the slow lane” More
: Texas A&M University: "2011 Urban Mobility Report & Map of Congestion in Your Area" More
: Cato Institute: “Ending congestion by refinancing highways” More
GOOD Magazine: "GOOD Attacks: A traffic infographic"