Americans Spend 70 Billion Hours Behind the Wheel

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans drive 20 more minutes per week, compared to 2014. The collective driving time of Americans was 70 billion hours, an eight percent increase from 2014. Drivers travel over 220 miles each week. It adds up to 11,498 miles per year, which is equivalent to two round trips from San Francisco, California, to Washington, D.C.

According to Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “The more time drivers spend behind the wheel, the greater their exposure to risks on the roadway.” Longer driving hours can lead to fatigue, distraction, impatience, and other factors that contribute to vehicle crashes. Drivers must remain alert and focus on driving. This will save your life, and those of your passengers and others on the road with you.

According to the AAA Foundation’s American Driving Survey, drivers in America spend on average nearly an hour behind a wheel and drive 31.5 miles per day. This is five percent more than in 2014.

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Demographics

Another survey found that men drive 27% more and spend 19% more time behind the wheel than women.

Married couples or those living together spend 12 percent more time driving than those without partners.

The average driving time for drivers aged 75+ is 8 minutes per day, a 23 percent increase over 2014.

Region

The West is the region where drivers spend the longest time driving (58.9 minutes per day), followed closely by the Northeast (51.1 minutes), South (49.5 minutes) and Midwest region (44.5 mins).

The Midwest saw a drop in drivers by three percent. The number of drivers in the Northeast and South regions increased or remained constant.

These new results are part the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s American Driving Survey which examines the driving habits and behaviors of Americans. This data come from a representative sample – 11,804 drivers provided information about their driving habits on random days between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2017.

Updated:01/25/2022