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Even as Economy Rebounds, Americans Curb Driving

Decline could have serious economic repercussions.

by on Aug.29, 2013

Americans continue to spend less and less time on the road, even as the economy recovers.

Fewer people at work, fewer people driving.  It’s a simple equation and one that a lot of experts pointed to as explanation for the notable drop in the total miles U.S. motorists clocked during the depths of the recession.

So, how to explain the fact that even as the economy finally is showing real signs of recovery the number of miles driven continues to decline.  That report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is just the latest indication that Americans may be falling out of love with their automobiles.

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“For almost 40 years, auto usage, as measured by vehicle miles travelled (VMT), closely tracked real gross domestic product. VMT dropped during the most recent recession, as it has during previous ones. But unlike after prior recessions, it still hasn’t recovered,” notes a report from the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.