US drivers logged a collective 1.58 trillion miles behind the wheel for the first half of the year, according to the US Department of Transportation. Not only does that mark a 3.3-percent increase from a year earlier, but it sets an all-time record. At the head of the pack Hawaiians boosted their collective driving miles by as nearly nine percent. Aloha, indeed.
While some of the increase may be attributed to stubbornly high air fares that are forcing more people into road trips, the real culprit is cheap gas. US gas prices average $2.20 a gallon, marking a 15-percent drop from the $2.58 a gallon Americans paid a year ago, according to AAA. As the DOT points out, there are an awful lot of roads to fix out there, and the feds are clearing out $226 billion for road and bridge repairs during the next four years.
Such numbers contradict the theory floating around that Americans reached peak driving mileage as far back as 2008 and having been tapering off their distance behind the wheel ever since. There are about 260 million registered vehicles on US roads, implying that the average miles driven on those vehicles was 6,077 miles through June, or just over 1,000 miles a month. For more information on the DOT's report, take a look here.