How many miles does the average person drive a year? 2024

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
By:
Author picture
Edited by:
close up image of a hand on a steering wheel

The amount of driving Americans do each year dipped noticeably during 2020, with COVID-19 and its various impacts as the obvious cause. Since then, the amount people are driving has rebounded, albeit still not to pre-pandemic levels. Nevertheless, since 1971, the amount of total annual miles driven has nearly tripled in the U.S., rising from 1.13 trillion miles to 3.19 trillion miles.

Key insights

In 2022, the average U.S. driver drove 13,596 miles in 2022. This number represents an increase from 2020 and 2021, but still falls below 2019 numbers.

Jump to insight

Drivers cite running errands as the primary reason for getting in the car, accounting for 30.3% of their car trips. Commuting to work accounts for 21.6% of individual car trips.

Jump to insight

The average driver in Wyoming drives more than in any other state, at 21,588 miles per year. Drivers in Washington, D.C. annually drive the least, at 6,695 miles.

Jump to insight

The number of licensed drivers over the age of 70 exceeded 34 million in 2022. This represents nearly 2.5 times the number of older U.S. drivers who were licensed in 1994.

Jump to insight

General driving data

In the U.S., there are more than 235 million licensed drivers. Since 2005, this number has included more female licensed drivers than male licensed drivers. In 2022, there were almost 2.5 times as many registered drivers over the age of 70 (34 million) as there were in 1994 (15 million), the first year for which data is available about older drivers.

Just over 94% of the driving-age population in the U.S. has a driver’s license. The average driver takes just under 2.5 trips a day and spends almost exactly an hour on the road each day. Drivers report that 30.3% of their trips were for errands, 21.6% involved commuting to and from work, and 19.4% of trips were for social/pleasure purposes.

Miles driven data

In 2022, the average driver in the U.S. drove 13,596 miles. This breaks down to just over 37 miles per day and 1,133 miles each month. The chart below details the number of licensed drivers in the U.S. and the average number of miles driven each year since 2010.

Historical miles driven by year

Historical data from the Federal Highway Administration shows that the total number of miles driven in the U.S. has generally increased year-over-year and decade-over-decade. Vehicle miles traveled increased by 37% over the course of the 1980s, 25% in the 1990s, 8% in the 2000s and another 10% between 2010 and 2019.

However, the total number of miles traveled fell dramatically in 2020 and still has not rebounded to 2019 levels. The overall decrease in driving is likely due to a combination of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the subsequent trend towards remote work.

Miles driven by state

Drivers in Wyoming drive more miles than residents of other states — in 2022, the average state resident driver logged 21,588 miles behind the wheel. Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri and New Mexico also ranked in the top five states in terms of average miles driven. Residents of Washington, D.C., New York, Rhode Island and Washington were on the other end of the spectrum, on average driving less than 10,000 miles over the course of 2022.

Five states with the highest average annual miles in 2022

The states with the highest average annual miles per driver also tend to be those where more miles are driven on rural roads rather than urban ones. In Wyoming, for example, 78% of vehicle miles are logged on rural roadways. Respectively in Indiana and Mississippi, rural mileage 65% and 52%. In the vast majority of states, drivers travel more total miles on urban roads.

  1. Wyoming: 21,588
  2. Indiana: 20,560
  3. Mississippi: 19,517
  4. Missouri: 18,514
  5. New Mexico: 17,786

Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest average annual miles in 2021 were:

  1. Washington, D.C. — 6,695
  2. New York — 9,548
  3. Washington — 9,818
  4. Rhode Island — 9,904
  5. Alaska — 10,510

Miles driven by age group

According to the AAA Foundation’s 2022 American Driving Survey, drivers between the ages of 35 and 49 report driving the most miles on a daily basis. Drivers over the age of 75 report driving more miles each day than drivers between 16 and 19.

Miles driven by gender

The American Driving Survey also shows that on average, men report driving more than women, although the gap has narrowed in the three years for which data is available.

Average number of daily miles driven by gender from 2020 to 2022

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

FAQ

How much does the average person drive per month?

Each month in 2022, the average driver in the U.S. logged 1,133 miles. However, average driving totals can vary significantly between different parts of the country. The average driver in Wyoming drives 1,799 miles per month, while the same number is only 558 miles for the average driver in Washington, D.C.

What age group drives the most?

American Driving Survey data shows that drivers between the ages of 35 and 49 drive the most miles, logging an average of just under 39 miles a day. Drivers over the age of 75, and those between the ages of 16 and 19, drive the least, both reporting around 20 miles a day.

How many hours does the average American drive a day?

On an average day, drivers in the U.S. report spending just over 60 minutes in their car. This number drops to 51.7 minutes on Saturdays, and rises to 55.5 minutes on Sundays.


References

  1. Alternative Fuels Data Center. “Annual Vehicle Miles Traveled in the United States.” U.S. Department of Energy. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here
  2. Office of Highway Policy Information. “Highway Statistics 2022, Table DL-201 & VM-202.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here
  3. Steinbach, R & Tefft, B.C. “American Driving Survey: 2022.” AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here
  4. Office of Highway Policy Information. “Highway Statistics 2022, Table DL-201 & VM-2.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here
  5. Office of Highway Policy Information. “Highway Statistics 2022, Table DL-220.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Mar. 2, 2024.Link Here
  6. Office of Highway Policy Information. “Highway Statistics 2022, Table VM-202.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here
  7. Office of Highway Policy Information. “Highway Statistics 2022, Table HM-44.” U.S. Department of Transportation. Evaluated Mar. 26, 2024.Link Here

Figures