Travel Distances

Goals

To evaluate a business model for a vehicle that covers short trips for customers, calculate relevant factoids related to the distance and number of vehicle trips traveled in the US to demostrate viability of this service.

Early Findings

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.
See data in Google Sheet for distances broken down using NHTS tools.

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.

Traffic Congestion

  • 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.

Proprietary Research

We found some proprietary research from our data partners which may be helpful:

Shifting demographics and consumer values are transforming how households view car ownership, while major mobility trends are in turn changing household behavior. The Households and Mobility report will analyze how trends like growing single-person homes, population aging, and fractured families impact mobility; and how growing mobility trends like car subscriptions, electric and autonomous vehicles are impacting households.

Households and Mobility (06/21/2019)
Publisher: Euromonitor International | Price: 1,325.00 USD

The ride sharing market is estimated to be USD 61.3 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 218.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 19.87%. The growing need for personal mobility in the wake of rising urbanization and fall in car ownership is driving the demand for ride sharing. The factors which restrain the market are resistance from traditional transport services and complex transport policies of different countries.

Ride Sharing Market by Type — Global Forecast to 2025
Publisher: MarketsandMarkets | Price: 5,650.00 USD

If you'd like us to purchase these reports on your behalf, just let us know.

Proposed next steps:

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The National Household Travel Survey 2017 includes additional data and analysis tools. In early findings, we did not separate single passenger trips by miles. The survey includes Personal Miles Traveled (PMT) and Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). Further analysis and time spent manipulating the raw data would provide more facts about short trips and mileage by gender, age, the purpose of the journey, and by period (annually, weekly, and daily). We could supply 5-7 insights about trip lengths by purpose, and provide these specific data points, including the number of trips (not just the percentage) that are less than 6 miles, and how many of these trips were in vehicles with only one passenger. We would recommend continued research using the NHTS to retrieve the additional figures required.
More research would be required to ascertain the length of Uber/Taxi or rideshare trips by miles, and average number of passengers per trip using such services.