Americans drove 3 trillion — yes, trillion — miles in ’05

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Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles on American highways last year, according to the newly released “Highway Statistics 2005” report, an annual compilation of data reported to the Federal Highway Administration by all U.S. states and territories. This figure represents an 8 percent increase in travel over 2004 and a nearly 20 percent increase compared to 1995.

“These figures underscore the importance of our efforts to fight traffic congestion,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said. “It is clear that our ability to keep traffic moving smoothly and safely is key to keeping our economy strong.”

There were 241.2 million vehicles registered in the United States last year, including 6.2 million motorcycles – the most ever recorded in both categories. “America is the most mobile nation in history,” Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka said, “And, as these new data show, our interstate is every bit the critical infrastructure President Eisenhower foresaw 50 years ago when he created it.”

The “Highway Statistics” series, which consists of statistics on motor fuel, motor vehicles, driver licensing, highway-user taxation and state and local government highway finance, has been produced each year since 1945. To view “Highway Statistics 2005,” click here.