Speaking on Here and Now the other day, Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst for The PRICE Futures Group, said that lower gas prices were helping American's drive more. While there are a number of factors that play into vehicle miles traveled (VMT), it makes sense that we're seeing another uptick. The drop in prices at the pump over the last year or so has happened as we've been driving more. The VMT total has been going up for 14 months in a row (since March 2014) according to the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Journal.
Of course, the first quarter of a year does not define the 12-month total. For all of 2007, for example, the USDOT estimates American's drove 3,003.2 billion miles. For 2014, the number was 3015.6 billion, and that's without a record first quarter. Anyone want to wager a guess that the total will be when we're singing Auld Lang Syne in five months?