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Posts Tagged ‘Federal Highway Administration’

Americans Driving More than Ever

U.S. drivers getting behind the wheel more and more.

by on Aug.24, 2015

Americans set a new record for most miles driven for the the first six months of the year.

In recent years, there has been plenty of speculation that Americans may be turning off the ignition switch. As telecommuting has become more popular and population of urban centers as diverse as Chicago and Portland have boomed, there’s been plenty of anecdotal evidence to lend credence to those assertions

But an updated report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) scuttles those thought. U.S. residents have driven a record number of miles in the first half of 2015. American drivers have traveled 1.54 trillion miles between January and June, topping a previous record of 1.5 trillion miles that was set in 2007, according to the feds.

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The figure is more than double the number of miles driven by U.S. residents in 1981, according to the agency. (more…)

Golden Age of Drivers: 50-Year-Olds Hit Highest Levels Ever

Aging drivers means rethinking America’s roadways.

by on Mar.24, 2015

America's driving population is getting older and those over 50 are at their highest levels ever.

Americans are not only driving at near-record levels these days, the number of drivers 50 and older is higher than ever, according to government data.

The Federal Highway Administration says that drivers over 50 account for nearly 45% of all licensed motorists on the roads: a jump of 22% since 2003. They accounted for 43.6% in 2012. The jump is partly due to the fact that younger drivers aren’t as quick to get a license as they have been in the past.

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Perhaps even more important is that the fastest growing segment of drivers is those over 85, nearly doubling from 1.76 million in 1998 to 3.48 million in 2013 – the second-highest amount ever recorded. (more…)

Proposed Tax Hike Increases Gas Prices 15 Cents a Gallon

The $170 billion raised may not be enough to fix U.S. infrastructure.

by on Dec.06, 2013

A proposed 15-cent a gallon hike in the federal gas tax would help improve the country's infrastructure, according to proponents.

The price of gas may be on the rise again, but this time everyone will know why: the federal gas tax will nearly double if one Congressman’s proposal passes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is pushing a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the tax 15 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.

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The 15 cents would be phased in five-cent increments during the next three years and add $170 billion during the next 10 years, he said. (more…)

New Angle on Highway Deaths

A non-governmental Washington group challenges many common beliefs about automotive safety.

by on Jul.06, 2009

Road design, not car design, is more critical in preventing injuries and saving lives.

Road design, not car design, is more critical in preventing injuries and saving lives.

Deficient roadways are a far greater factor in vehicle safety matters than previously believed by most safety experts, according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), which is funded by the Transportation Construction Coalition of road builders.

The study, perhaps not coincidentally, appears as Congress is due to debate how much money is going to be spent on highway construction in future years. Highway funds–whether for new roads or maintenance–are paid for with gasoline taxes, and the trust fund that allocates the money for roads is currently bankrupt.

The study says that “deficiencies in the roadway environment” contribute to more than 22,000 fatalities and cost the nation more than $217 billion annually. The shortcomings include such items as “unforgiving” trees and light poles, dimly marked pavement, lack of rumble strips on road shoulders, lack of guardrails or safety barriers, and a paucity of signs with easy-to-read legends. 

It's safe!

It's safe!

Titled “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” PIRE claims that the cost from bad road environments far exceeds that of alcohol abuse ($130 billion), speeding ($97 billion) and failing to wear seat belts ($60 billion).