Americans’ Time Behind the Wheel Steadily Increasing

Americans spend an additional 20 minutes driving each week compared to 2014, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

During the course of 2017, Americans collectively spent 70 billion hours behind the wheel, an 8 percent increase since 2014.

Each week, drivers travel more than 220 miles. Add it up and Americans drive an average of 11,498 miles each year, the equivalent of making two roundtrip drives from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., according to AAA.

The AAA Foundation’s American Driving Survey shows that on average, U.S. drivers spend nearly an hour behind the wheel each day and travel 31.5 miles, a 5 percent increase from 2014.


Men spend 19-percent more time behind the wheel and drive 27-percent more miles than women.

People who are married or living with a partner spend at least 12 percent more time driving than those who are not.

Drivers aged 75-plus are spending on average 8 minutes per day driving, a 23-percent increase from 2014.


Drivers in Western states spend the most time driving at 58.9 minutes per day, followed by drivers in the Northeast at 51.1 minutes, South at 49.9 minutes, and Midwest at 44.5 minutes.

The number of individuals who report driving in the Midwest region dropped 3percent, while the number of drivers in the Northeast, Southern and Western regions increased or remained the same.

The new results are part of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s American Driving Survey, which reveals the driving habits of the American public. The survey data are from a representative sample of 11,804 drivers who provided information about their driving on randomly selected days between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2017.

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