Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Justin Fox

Signs on the Road to Peak Auto

Driving records don't tell us much until you control for the rising population.
Peak. Auto.

Peak. Auto.

Photographer: David McNew/Getty Images

Americans drove 282.3 billion miles in June, the Federal Highway Administration reported Monday. That set a record. If normal seasonal patterns hold, we'll find out next month that it was broken again in July. After a rare dip during and after the Great Recession, driving is back, big time:

Then again, it shouldn't be all that surprising when the U.S. sets records in vehicle miles driven, given that the U.S. is constantly setting records in population. Perhaps adjusting for the size of the driving-age population  would be more informative.