Almost 4 years after recession began, Americans still driving less

I follow a lot of monthly economic data that I don’t post here on the blog, but I’ve been paying regular attention to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration estimates of total traffic volume. The prolonged decline in total vehicle miles driven could have profound implications for a variety of public policy issues, including long-range roadbuilding plans, tax revenues from gasoline sales, and the need for increased transit options.

In October, Americans still drove A LOT: 254 billion miles. But that was down 6 billion miles (2.3%) from October of 2010. That change was especially pronounced in the Southeast.

Take a look at the following map:

Click here to look at trends for various types of roadways.

In the state level data, Georgia shows a 3.8% decline in vehicle miles traveled in Oct. 2011 compared to Oct. 2010.

Here’s Calculated Risk‘s updated graph of the national 12-month rolling average: