Miles Traveled Shows Continued Year-Over-Year Decline

December 2022 figures from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) show that vehicle miles traveled were trending downward for every region of the United States.

The administration’s traffic trends for December 2022 show a -4.6 billion decrease in vehicle miles, or -1.8%, from December 2021. Overall travel for the month was 256.4 billion vehicle miles and 263.1 billion miles when seasonally adjusted. The former includes 78.5 billion vehicle miles on rural roads and 177.9 billion vehicle miles on urban roads and streets, while the latter figure marks a -0.1% decrease, or 0.2 billion vehicle miles, when compared to November 2022.

Cumulative travel in 2022 rose by 0.9%, or 29.3 billion vehicle miles. The cumulative estimate for the year is 3,169.4 billion vehicle miles of travel, according to the administration.

All U.S. regions saw decreases in estimated vehicle miles of travel from one year to the next. The Northeast saw 33.9 billion miles in December 2022, a -0.6% decrease from one year prior.

The South Atlantic recorded approximately 57.4 billion miles, a -0.8% change from December 2021. North Central saw a -3.5% decrease with 53.8 billion miles traveled, and the South Gulf a -2.4% decrease with 57.4 billion miles clocked. Vehicles in the West traveled 53.9 billion miles, a -1.1% decrease over the same time last year.

When examining month-to-month figures, November 2022 saw the Northeast clock 35.1 billion vehicle miles traveled and the South Atlantic 60.3 billion miles traveled. North Central totaled 57.1 billion vehicle miles traveled, the South Gulf 55.7 billion and the West 60 billion.

The chart below by the FHA features vehicle miles of travel by region for December 2022 (in billions of miles). Percentage change is shown as compared to December 2021. All data are preliminary.

December 2022 vs. December 2021 Vehicle Miles Driven

By Region Compared to 2021 (in Billions of Miles)

RegionTotal Travel December 2022 Total Travel December 2021Percentage Change
South Atlantic57.457.9-0.8
North Central53.855.7-3.5
South Gulf57.458.8-2.4
U.S. Totals256.4261-1.7


The chart below shows the difference in vehicle miles of travel in December 2022 when compared to the month prior.

December 2022 vs. November 2022 Vehicle Miles Driven

By Region Compared to 2021 (in Billions of Miles)

RegionTotal Travel December 2022Total Travel November 2022Percentage Change
South Atlantic57.460.3-4.8
North Central53.857.1-6.1
South Gulf57.455.73.0
U.S. Totals256.4264.2-2.9

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