Miles driven off sharply in 2008

First high gas prices, then the economic slowdown has meant a sharp decrease in miles driven in Arizona. “Arizona drivers put 295 million fewer miles on their cars in October compared with October last year, a 6 percent decline and the 11th consecutive month traffic has dropped”

It will be interesting to see what impact this has on crash rates for 2008. Arizona posted a huge drop in fatalities for 2007, the per-mile stats still have not been posted for 2007; though Arizona is perennially high compared to US as a whole.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/12/13/20081213biz-trafficdown1213.html

Since ’07, Arizona drivers logging fewer and fewer miles

If your daily commute seems a little quicker these days, it’s probably not your imagination.

A report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates Arizona drivers put 295 million fewer miles on their cars in October compared with October last year, a 6 percent decline and the 11th consecutive month traffic has dropped. Traffic for the month was down 5.2 percent in Arizona cities and 8.3 percent on rural roads, according to the report, which is based on hourly counting-location data.

Only Montana, Utah and South Carolina had bigger declines in October.

 

The nation is seeing the largest continuous traffic decline in history, the report said.

Drivers began to cut back last year with the economic slowdown, and they really hit the brakes after prices for gasoline spiked during the summer.

Now, traffic is thinning even though local prices for gas fell in October from more than $3 to about $2.70. The 6 percent traffic dip in October actually was bigger than the one in July, when Valley gas averaged about $4 a gallon and traffic fell 3.6 percent.

The Phoenix average for a gallon of regular was $1.61Friday, according to AAA Arizona.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation are worried about funding projects with gas taxes, including some in Arizona, when people use less fuel. State taxes on gasoline sales are in the same boat.

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