Through January to November 2015, motorists drove about 2.88 trillion miles on U.S. roadways, positioning 2015 to be “the most heavily traveled year in history,” according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
While federal authorities are still analyzing data from December 2015 to finalize the totals for last year, the preliminary findings indicated that, in November 2015 alone:
- There was a roughly 3.4 percent increase in miles driven in the U.S. (when compared to data from November 2014).
- The increases were evenly distributed across the U.S., with the Western states leading the nation in most vehicle miles traveled (VMT). In contrast, the Northeast region of the U.S. experienced the smallest increases in VMT in November 2015.
- In terms of specific states, Hawaii led the nation for largest increases in VMT, followed by Idaho and Florida. In contrast, Washington D.C. experienced the smallest VMT increases.
What the Findings Mean for the U.S. & Motorists in the Coming Decades
According to FHWA regulators, the above findings about VMT increases in the U.S. in 2015 affirm predictions made in the DOT’s Beyond Traffic report that was issued last year. Specifically, in that report, officials projected that, over the next three decades or so, there will be surge in VMT, and that could spark increased gridlock and more traffic crashes in the U.S.
Some of the primary reasons for that, regulators say, include that:
- The U.S. population is expected to grow by at least 70 million.
- Commercial shipments being transported on U.S. roads are expected to increase by at least 40 percent.
To combat the potentially deadly traffic trends that may be on the horizon, FHWA officials are recommending that transportation officials start taking a serious look at how to mitigate the above factors. Officials are also hopeful that the $305 billion (from the FAST Act) will be used to enhance “America’s surface transportation infrastructure.
Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic crash – or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal traffic accident, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.