Steering Column: U.S. driver habits revealed in survey - Tucson Local Media: Northwest Chatter

Steering Column: U.S. driver habits revealed in survey

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Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 9:58 am

Eat, sleep and drive: That appears to be the mantra of many Americans.

U.S. drivers spend more than 290 hours behind the wheel each year, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The research finds that more than 87.5 percent of Americans reported driving in the past year. During this time, drivers travelled nearly 10,900 miles on average. 

“This survey provides the most current and comprehensive look at how much Americans drive on a daily and yearly basis,” said Michelle Donati, communications manager for AAA Arizona. “In 2015, we found that the amount of time the average driver spends behind the wheel each year is equivalent to seven 40-hour weeks at the office.” 

The American Driving Survey revealed that Americans drove a total of 2.45 trillion miles last year, which is a 2.4 percent increase from 2014. Other survey findings show that:

•  On average, women reported more daily driving trips than men, but men reported spending 18 percent more time behind the wheel and driving more miles than women—2,314 more miles annually. 

•  More than 50 percent of miles driven by Americans are done in cars, followed by SUVs (20 percent), pickup trucks (17 percent) and vans (7.9 percent). 

•  The majority of U.S. households – 86 percent – have at least one car for every driver in the home, and 28 percent report having more cars than drivers.

•  Drivers ages 30-49 drive an average of 13,506 miles annually, more than any other age group. Drivers aged 75 and older reported driving the fewest miles. On any given day, nearly half of all drivers aged 75 and older do not do any driving. 

The new survey results are part of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual American Driving Survey, which reveals the driving habits of the American public. The survey data are from a sample of 5,774 drivers who provided information about their daily driving trips in calendar years 2014 and 2015. The AAA Foundation released its first American Driving Survey in 2015. The foundation has been collecting detailed driving information from a representative sample of U.S. drivers on an ongoing basis since May 2013.

AAA is a go-to source for automotive information. For more information, visit AAAFoundation.org

Valerie Vinyard is a public affairs specialist for AAA Arizona. Contact her at vvinyard@arizona.aaa.com or at 520-258-0518.

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