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March 2010 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (March 2010)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during March 2010 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by 2.3 percent (5.8 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 254.8** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 84.1 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 170.7 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -0.7 percent (-4.8 billion vehicle miles).

The larger changes to rural and urban travel are primarily because of the expansion in urban boundaries reflected in the 2000 census. Travel estimates for 2004 and beyond will also reflect this adjustment.

Travel for the current month, the cumulative yearly total, as well as the moving 12-month total on all roads and streets is shown below. Similar totals for each year since 1985 are also included.

Travel in Millions of Vehicle Miles All Roads and Streets
Year March Year to Date Moving 12-Month
1985 144,424 387,912 1,727,363
1986 151,183 407,707 1,794,558
1987 157,573 433,488 1,864,021
1988 167,836 458,463 1,949,303
1989 174,990 481,473 2,048,595
1990 178,771 495,930 2,121,497
1991 179,076 490,316 2,141,887
1992 183,778 511,634 2,193,532
1993 187,869 522,393 2,257,911
1994 196,190 531,948 2,306,260
1995 201,227 566,118 2,391,757
1996 204,172 564,198 2,420,856
1997 211,952 586,028 2,504,031
1998 214,222 598,259 2,572,603
1999 220,763 605,830 2,632,934
2000 232,490 635,193 2,708,822
2001 232,595 643,146 2,754,877
2002 236,069 659,492 2,811,895
2003 236,661 658,808 2,854,578
2004 251,061 686,814 2,917,681
2005 252,880 696,561 2,973,914
2006 256,340 710,013 3,002,846
2007 259,343 711,705 3,016,029
2008 252,297 706,579 3,024,665
2009 249,019 694,524 2,961,416
2010 254,788 689,767 2,974,560

Traffic Volume Trends is a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data. These data, collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations nationwide, are used to determine the percent change in traffic for the current month compared to the same month in the previous year. This percent change is applied to the travel for the same month of the previous year to obtain an estimate of travel for the current month. Because of the limited sample sizes, caution should be used with theses estimates. The highway Performance Monitoring System provides more accurate information on an anual basis.

** System entries may not add up to the give "All Systems" total due to rounding on pages 2 to 8.

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Steven Jessberger
Office of Highway Policy Information
202-366-5052
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration