The National Household Travel Survey, conducted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is the authoritative source on the travel behavior of the American public. It is the only source of national data that covers trends in personal and household travel. Daily travel is a trip from one point to another on a single day, and the latest available survey is from 2017. Trips are by a single privately-operated vehicle, regardless of the number of persons in a vehicle. The information that follows is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of data available using the NHTS.
Distances Per Trip
- 59.5% of trips are 5 miles or under.
- 40.5% of trips are 6 miles and over.
Daily Travel Quick Facts
- Americans take 1.1 billion trips a day — four for every person in the U.S.
- U.S. daily travel averages 11 billion miles a day.
- Americans take 411 billion daily trips a year (about 1,500 trips per person) which equals about 4 trillion miles (14,500 miles per person) annually.
Average Trip Length
- Average per person trip length (miles) is 11.57, the average vehicle trip length (miles) is 10.53, and the daily miles traveled per person is 38.98.
Hours Spent Driving
- According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, over a year, Americans collectively spent 70 billion hours behind the wheel in 2018 (8% increase since 2014).
- Each week, drivers travel more than 220 miles (an average of 11,498 miles each year).
- The average driver spends 55 minutes a day behind the wheel. Men drive 27 percent more miles than women, married/defacto couples spend 12 percent more time driving than singles.
- Extra travel time or “queuing time” for each average commute trip implies the annual cost of congestion borne by all US commuters is about 29 billion dollars.
We found some proprietary research from our data partners which may be helpful:
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