Subscribe

Gas is cheap and US drivers use it to log more miles than ever

The nation's vehicles collectively logged 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of this year, according to federal data. That's up 3.3 percent from last year.

  • close
    Traffic races I-55 South, just past the Louisiana-Mississippi state line, near Independence, La. on Aug. 13, 2016.
    (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

With the summer travel season more than halfway over and gas prices still quite low, U.S drivers have already logged a record-breaking number of miles traveled.

The nation's vehicles collectively logged 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of this year, according to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) data.

That's up 3.3 percent from the same period last year.

It's also a record number of miles for the first six months of any year, notes The Hill.

Between January and June 2015, U.S. drivers covered 1.54 trillion miles, which was its own record at the time.

In June of this year alone, drivers covered 282.3 billion miles, which represents a slight increase from June 2015, according to the DoT data.

The consistent increase in mileage is due to a number of factors, with cheap gas likely chief among them.

It's also worth noting that, when planning summer vacations, driving may be a more attractive option for some travelers than flying.

While long spells behind the wheel can be taxing, flying has gotten more annoying, painful, and pricey than ever.

Issues caused by airlines themselves are now the biggest cause of flight delays, notes Bloomberg.

Those include mechanical breakdowns and system glitches such as the computer failure that grounded thousands of Delta Airlines flights earlier this year,

That means that even with clear weather and manageable levels of traffic, travelers aren't guaranteed a timely flight.

At the same time, the average airline ticket buys precious few amenities, and flying requires submitting to tedious and time-consuming security checks.

But more miles traveled isn't necessarily as bad as it used to be. While U.S. drivers are logging more miles than ever, they still use less fuel than in previous decades.

New-car average fuel economy has declined somewhat in recent months due to increased sales of SUVs, but it remains far higher than it was a decade ago.

The average for July was 25.4 mpg, according to a running tally kept by University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

That's up 5.3 mpg—or more than 25 percent—from October 2007, when the survey began.

Carmakers have consistently improved the rated fuel efficiency of virtually all new vehicles, solely in response to fuel-economy standards that increase continuously through 2025.

This story originally appeared on GreenCarReports.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK