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Driving in 2022 was not yet fully back to the pre-pandemic level

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research

This brief post examines vehicle miles traveled in the United States from 2019 (the last year before the pandemic) through 2022. The raw data came from FHWA. The data are for all vehicles, and they are not adjusted for the changes in population. (Population-adjusted monthly changes in driving and in other modes of transportation are presented in an ongoing monitoring.)

The results, shown in the table below, indicate that the biggest decline relative to 2019—about 11%—was in 2020. The declines were more moderate in 2021 and 2022, but in neither year was the amount of driving on par with that in 2019. Specifically, in 2021 the decline was about 4%, and in 2022 about 3%.

Year Vehicle miles (billions) Change relative to 2019
2019 3,259.9 -
2020 2,903.6 -10.9%
2021 3,140.1 -3.7%
2022 3,169.4 -2.8%

Michael Sivak is the managing director of Sivak Applied Research and the former director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan.


Albert E Short

I'd bet on the increase in telecommuters as the cause.

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