$4.05+ average national gas costs and $140 barrel oil is having its effect: Demand destruction brought about by high prices has lead to Americans driving less.
Total vehicle miles traveled grew by nearly 3% a
year from 1984 to 2004, the rate of growth slowed suddenly in 2005 and
2006 and has declined since then:
But this is the year American drivers appear to be finally succumbing to price shock at the pump, according to a new report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm affiliated with IHS Inc. It says the slowdown in the economy and soaring gasoline prices have finally persuaded Americans to drive fewer miles in fewer gas-guzzling vehicles.
“U.S. gasoline demand will likely decline in 2008 for the first
time in more than 17 years,” says the report to be released Thursday.
“For the first time since the 1970s and early 1980s the number of miles
driven by Americans has clearly begun trending downward.”
The Transportation Department reported on Wednesday that Americans
drove 1.8 percent fewer miles on public roads in April 2008 compared
with the same month last year, the sixth consecutive month of driving
Driving Less, Americans Finally React to Sting of Gas Prices, a Study Says
NYT, June 19, 2008
Americans Drove 1.4 Billion Fewer Highway Miles in April of 2008 than in April 2007
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Traffic Volume Trends
U.S. Vehicle-Miles http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_32.html