The federal government has been keeping track of how many miles US drivers travel per year since 1939. A record distance was set in 2007, when we went on the road for 3.03 trillion miles. Last year set the second-highest bar, with 3.02 trillion miles of rubber laid down, a 1.7-percent increase from 2013.

That adjusted number is slightly higher than the one put out by the Department of Transportation last month. It's said the tally is in response to low fuel prices, but the huge number of vehicles on the roads is also a factor: 255.9 million cars, trucks, and motorcycles in circulation as of 2012, the last year for which data is available. That's how we went the distance in spite of per capita and per vehicle mileage continuing its year-on-year decline. The extra miles also turned our roads into parking lots; Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said US drivers are stuck in traffic for the equivalent of nearly five days a year.

Not only are we getting a older behind the wheel, but the driving population is aging in general. There are 93.5 million drivers over 50 - that number is up 22 percent compared to 2013 and represents a record 44.1 percent of the total. What's more, the number of elderly drivers - defined as 60 and over - is project to rise from 32 million in 2012 to 57 million in 2030. In the next ten years, those over 65 will count for more than 20 percent of all drivers, and over the next 30 years the number of drivers over 65 is expected to rise by 77 percent. And where is the fastest growth? Among drivers over 85. That's why the government says that along with the infrastructure investment that our additional driving requires, more money is needed to make the roads safer for the increasing number of older drivers using them.

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