Via City Observatory, here’s a chart that shows a great proxy for the annual VMT (or vehicle miles travelled). It’s pretty self-explanatory.
For many years, almost since the year 2000, VMT (the total amount of driving in the country) was at a plateau. With low gas prices and a booming economy, that’s changed. The country has reverted back to the “inexorable growth” pattern it’s had for most of the last century.
After more than a decade of moderation in driving (motivated largely by high gas prices), driving in the US started increasing again when oil prices collapsed in 2014. Data from the US Department of Transportation trace a clear uptick in driving in the past three years.
Keep in mind that population growth has been occurring in the country as well. And obviously this is at a big scale. I suspect VMT trends might be more nuanced or complicated in urban areas.
See also: these other streets.mn VMT charts.
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