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Policy Information

Highway Statistics 2009

Annual Vehicle Distance Traveled in Miles and Related Data - 2009 1/ By Highway Category and Vehicle Type

April 2011
Table VM-1

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YEAR ITEM LIGHT DUTY VEHICLES SHORT WB 2/ MOTORCYCLES BUSES LIGHT DUTY VEHICLES LONG WB 2/ SINGLE-UNIT TRUCKS 3/ COMBINATION TRUCKS SUBTOTALS ALL MOTOR VEHICLES
ALL LIGHT DUTY VEHICLES /2 SINGLE-UNIT 2-AXLE 6-TIRE OR MORE AND COMBINATION TRUCKS
  Motor-Vehicle Travel: (millions of vehicle-miles)
2009 Interstate Rural 139,621 1,480 1,601 42,002 10,991 46,178 181,622 57,169 241,873
2009 Other Arterial Rural 229,367 3,295 2,063 89,194 19,364 29,185 318,561 48,549 372,468
2009 Other Rural 226,498 3,502 2,506 97,887 19,173 16,322 324,384 35,494 365,886
2009 All Rural 595,485 8,277 6,170 229,082 49,528 91,684 824,567 141,212 980,227
2009 Interstate Urban 334,765 2,323 2,170 87,116 15,649 32,940 421,881 48,589 474,963
2009 Other Urban 1,083,185 10,201 6,017 300,705 54,986 43,218 1,383,890 98,204 1,498,311
2009 All Urban 1,417,950 12,523 8,187 387,821 70,635 76,158 1,805,771 146,793 1,973,274
2009 Total Rural and Urban 5/ 2,013,436 20,800 14,358 616,903 120,163 167,842 2,630,338 288,005 2,953,501
2009 Number of motor vehicles registered 2/ 193,979,654 7,929,724 841,993 40,488,025 8,356,097 2,617,118 234,467,679 10,973,214 254,212,610
2009 Average miles traveled per vehicle 10,380 2,623 17,052 15,237 14,380 64,132 11,218 26,246 11,618
2009 Person-miles of travel (millions) 4/ 2,797,438 22,404 304,386 824,151 120,163 167,842 3,621,589 288,005 4,236,384
2009 Fuel consumed (thousand gallons) 85,560,236 474,909 1,868,792 35,763,797 16,342,208 28,130,088 121,324,034 44,472,296 168,140,031
2009 Average fuel consumption per vehicle (gallons) 441 60 2,219 883 1,956 10,748 517 4,053 661
2009 Average miles traveled per gallon of fuel consumed 23.8 43.2 7.2 17.4 7.4 6.0 21.7 6.5 17.6

1/ The FHWA estimates national trends by using State reported Highway Performance and Monitoring System (HPMS) data, fuel consumption data (MF-21 and MF-27), vehicle registration data (MV-1, MV-9, and MV-10), other data such as the R. L. Polk vehicle data, and a host of modeling techniques. Starting with the 2009 VM-1, an enhanced methodology is used to provide timely indictors on both travel and travel behavior changes.

2/ Light Duty Vehicles Short WB - passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles with a wheelbase (WB) equal to or less than 121 inches. Light Duty Vehicles Long WB - large passenger cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport/utility vehicles with wheelbases (WB) larger than 121 inches. All Light Duty Vehicles - passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles regardless of wheelbase.

3/ Single-Unit - single frame trucks that have 2-Axles and at least 6 tires or a gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 lbs.

4/ Vehicle occupancy is estimated by the FHWA from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS); For single unit truck and heavy trucks, 1 motor vehicle miles travelled = 1 person-miles traveled.

5/ VMT data are based on the latest HPMS data available; it may not match previous published results.

The data now on the website for 2000-2006 were estimated using a methodology developed in the late 1990s. FHWA recently developed a new methodology and used it for this year's Highway Statistics. This methodology takes advantage of additional and improved information available beginning in 2007 when states were first required to report motorcycle data – before that time, the reporting was not mandatory and the data were missing for a few states. Also, the new methodology does not rely on data from the national vehicle inventory and use survey which provided critical data for the original methodology but was not collected in 2007 as planned.

In April 2011, FHWA recalculated the 2000-2008 data along with the 2009 data to estimate trends. However, after further review and consideration, the agency determined that it is more reliable to retain the original 2000-2006 estimates because the information available for those years does not fully meet the requirements of the new methodology. Thus, the original 2000-2006 estimates are now used, whereas the 2007-2009 data are still based on the new methodology.

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Updated: 01/03/2012

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration