It's hard to keep track of what affects what nowadays - sometimes we're told that the price of gas doesn't affect demand and the amount of miles driven, then we're told that falling gas prices helped encourage US drivers to collectively drive further than they have since 2007. The tiebreaker, for now, is a story in the Detroit News that starts with the unequivocal, "Low gas prices are spurring Americans to drive more."

The US Department of Transportation has reported a full year of monthly growth in the number of miles driven, with February clocking the second-highest total ever for that month and the greatest increase in more than a decade. We did 221.1 billion miles in the shortest month of the year, outdoing February 2014 by 6.1 billion miles. If winter hadn't been such a horror show in the northeast, predictions are that the tally would have been higher.

The low, low price of gas is given as part of the reason. And even though prices have been on the rise since January, the American Automobile Association says that, on average, gas still costs a dollar less per gallon than a year ago, and that Americans will be taking more road trips if the trend continues. The high-mileage isn't about long trips, however - with miles per vehicle and miles per capita on a downturn, it seems that there are simply more people making more trips in more cars.

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