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August 2008 Traffic Volume Trends

Travel Trends (August 2008)

Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during August 2008 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by -5.6 percent (-15.0 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 253.7** billion vehicle-miles.

This total includes 90.2 billion vehicle-miles on rural roads and 163.5 billion vehicle-miles on urban roads and streets.

Cumulative Travel changed by -3.3 percent (-67.2 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 1983 are also included.

Travel in Millions of Vehicle Miles All Roads and Streets
Year August Year to Date Moving 12-Month
1983 157,649 1,101,649 1,630,940
1984 164,920 1,149,718 1,697,177
1985 169,437 1,187,295 1,754,347
1986 173,977 1,225,904 1,813,371
1987 177,378 1,282,053 1,894,389
1988 184,503 1,351,281 1,993,556
1989 194,172 1,409,867 2,084,172
1990 197,057 1,446,267 2,143,440
1991 204,063 1,457,700 2,158,934
1992 204,753 1,503,029 2,217,543
1993 209,634 1,535,998 2,280,121
1994 215,045 1,571,053 2,331,760
1995 219,216 1,624,692 2,411,226
1996 229,050 1,657,838 2,455,922
1997 233,496 1,715,864 2,540,227
1998 237,143 1,749,898 2,594,407
1999 241,503 1,778,200 2,653,665
2000 247,832 1,841,325 2,742,583
2001 253,265 1,868,119 2,773,718
2002 258,638 1,911,257 2,838,687
2003 260,624 1,926,123 2,870,128
2004 262,941 1,980,397 2,943,950
2005 265,460 2,005,306 2,989,076
2006 264,695 2,010,095 2,993,522
2007 268,680 2,012,704 3,008,183
2008 253,684 1,945,498 2,929,272

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