Streetfacts: Americans Are Driving Less

We continue our Streetfacts series by looking at the data on driving in the U.S. Per-capita driving has declined every year since 2005. That’s not a blip, it’s now an 8-year trend.

The reason? Neither the state of the economy nor changes in gas prices offer a satisfactory explanation. Social preferences and demographic shifts seem to be playing a role. Young people today are less likely to own a car or have a driver’s license than young people several years ago. At the same time, America’s growing population of seniors are no longer in their peak driving years.

Whatever the combination of factors, people are riding transit, walking, and bicycling more. Even Motor Trend is examining the shift away from cars.

The upshot is that we need to start making smart transportation investments that align with the new reality: Americans are driving less.

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