AAA Study Finds Average U.S. Motorist Drives 10,658 Miles a Year

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AAA Study Finds Average U.S. Motorist Drives 10,658 Miles a Year


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. motorists aged 16 and older drive an average of 29.2 miles per day, or 10,658 miles per year, according to first-year results of a study currently being conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute.

The American Driving Survey collected data from May 2013 through May 2014. The results revealed several other interesting tidbits, including:

  • Women take more driving trips, but men spend 25 percent more time behind the wheel and drive 35 percent more miles than women.
  • Both teenagers and seniors over the age of 75 drive less than any other age group; motorists aged 30-49 drive an average 13,140 miles annually, more than any other age group.
  • The average distance and time spent driving increases in relation to higher levels of education. A driver with a grade school or some high school education drove an average of 19.9 miles and 32 minutes daily, while a college graduate drove an average of 37.2 miles and 58 minutes.
  • Drivers who reported living “in the country” or in “a small town” drive greater distances (12,264 miles annually) and spend a greater amount of time driving than people who described living in a “medium-sized town” or city (9,709 miles annually).
  • Motorists in the South drive the most (11,826 miles annually), while those in the Northeast drive the least (8,468 miles annually).
  • On average, Americans drive fewer miles on the weekend than on weekdays.
  • Americans drive, on average, the least during winter months (January through March) at 25.7 miles daily; they drive the most during the summer months (July through September) at 30.6 miles daily.

“This is the first ongoing study that provides a look at when and how much Americans are driving,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Existing federal data with this level of detail was last released in 2009, eight years after the previous release. This substantially limits the extent to which we can use existing data to draw conclusions about Americans’ current driving habits.”

The American Driver Survey was based on telephone interviews with a nationwide sample of 3,319 drivers. The first-year data was conducted from May 21, 2013 to May 31, 2014. The survey is ongoing.

“This new data, when combined with available crash data, will allow us to conduct unique, timely studies on crash rates for the first time,” continued Kissinger. “This will allow us to identify specific problems and evaluate various safety countermeasures to a degree never before possible.”

Washington, D.C.-based AAA is the largest motoring and leisure travel organization in North America.

Full results from the inaugural American Driving Survey can be viewed here.