The Road Less Travelled

Apr 09, 2009

Last summer’s high gas prices resulted in a significant drop in the number of drivers on the road, but even though it’s not so painful at the pump these days, a recent study shows that there is still a decline in that amount of miles we’re traveling across the nation’s highways.

According to recent estimates, compared with numbers from January 2008, there were 7 billion fewer vehicles miles traveled, or 3.1 percent less during the same month this year.

According to an article posted on Automotive Fleet, that decline continues a trend in which the steepest drop was in rural driving, specifically across middle America, where 12 states from Ohio to the Dakotas saw 6 percent fewer miles traveled compared to a year earlier.  Ohio claimed the largest decline of any state, seeing a drop of 10.2 percent.

The only states to see an increase in travel were out West, where 13 states including Hawaii and Alaska rose a modest .2 percent.

So, why the decline and how does it impact you?

New numbers come out everyday indicating that the current economic situation is causing businesses, the workforce and families to look at ways to be more efficient and are spending less in general.

Trucking companies are also becoming much more cost and time effective with smarter travel routes.  Also, the use of hybrid vehicles may be impacting fuel sales in ways that are finally starting to register on a national scale.  Similarly,
the American Public Transportation Association recently reported that 10.7 billion trips were made on public transit in 2008, which represents a four percent increase over 2007, a trend that seems to have continued into the current year.

For you this means traffic conditions for your fleet should be a little lighter…and maybe cut down on the number of people out there who think they own the road, when everybody knows that you do.

For more information on these findings check out the full article here.