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US households took fewer vehicle trips in 2017

The average number of vehicle trips made by a household in a year’s time was 1,865 in 2017—an average of 5 household trips per day (one-way)—according to data from the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Survey. That figure is 10% lower than the previous survey year, 2009, and 20% lower than the 1995 survey.

In 2017 there were fewer trips per household for work, shopping, other family/personal errands, and social and recreational purposes. The rise in internet shopping, telecommuting, and social networking via the internet may be a factor in the decline, as total trips per household has been declining since 1995.


Source: DOE.

A vehicle trip is defined as one start and end movement from location to location in a single privately-operated vehicle regardless of the number of persons in the vehicle.



In 2018/2020, an improved economy will employ many more workers, travelling more often in larger gas guzzlers and will offset trip reductions noted in 2009/2017 period and create more pollution and GHGs.

A switch to electrified public transportation and private e-vehicles could reverse the trend but may not happen till 2040/2050 or so.

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