AAA World Article

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Americans Spending More Time in Their Vehicles

AAA World Article

By the numbers  

The average American driver in 2017

  • 51—number of minutes spent driving each day
  • 31.5—number of miles logged daily
  • 11,500—miles driven annually
  • 2.2—drive trips taken daily 

If you think the roads are getting busier, you’re absolutely correct. And it is not just due to the return of warmer weather and the onset of the summer driving season.

 New research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that American drivers spent an average of 18,600 minutes behind the wheel during 2017. That translates to 310 hours annually, or the equivalent of nearly eight 40-hour work weeks. That’s an 18-hour increase from the 292 hours American motorists spent driving during 2015.

 The AAA Foundation’s American Driving Survey also found that the average motorist drives 31.5 miles a day, or 11,500 miles a year. It also revealed that Americans drove a total of 2.6 trillion miles in 2017, an 8 percent increase from the 2.4 trillion miles driven in 2015.

 It’s clear that traveling by car remains central to most Americans’ busy everyday lives.

Our AAA Foundation’s survey also revealed that there was a significant increase from 2015 to 2017 in the mean number of minutes spent driving among respondents who were older than 75 years. This growing trend is why AAA remains dedicated to offering indispensable resources to help keep seniors driving for as long as safely possible.

 With Americans spending more time behind the wheel, AAA’s ongoing efforts to battle drug- and alcohol-impaired and distracted driving and to secure more transportation funding for our roads take on even greater urgency.

 Just as the automobile continues to play a pivotal role in the lives of Americans, AAA continues to play a crucial role in the lives of our members, as we have for more than a century. We are here to help you maintain your vehicles; we come to your rescue when something goes wrong during your travels; and we passionately advocate for your safety.

 AAA stands ready to serve you as we head into the busy summer travel season. Let us know how we can help you—maybe even including how we can help put some precious time back into your busy life.


Tom Wiedemann
Chief Executive Officer


This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of AAA World.

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