American Driving Survey, 2014 – 2017
The American Driving Survey collects and analyzes data related to driving patterns of the public in the United States. This brief summarized the results based on data collected from 2016 through 2017 compared to those collected from 2014 through 2015.
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The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is dedicated to saving lives through researching traffic crashes’ causes and educating the public to prevent crashes and reduce injuries based on research results. One of the fundamentals of this research is quantifying traffic risks, which requires two types of data: 1) the number of motor vehicle crashes and people who are involved, injured, and killed in such crashes; and 2) people’s exposure to risk; for example, the number of miles that they travel.
To address the need for concrete information regarding driving patterns of the public in the United States, the Foundation launched its data collection system – the American Driving Survey – in May 2013 and has collected data almost every day of the year until December 2017. This research brief summarizes survey results regarding the American public’s driving exposure in relation to selected demographic characteristics in calendar years 2014 through 2017.
During 2016 and 2017, the American Driving Survey found that on average, drivers spent 51 minutes driving approximately 31.5 miles each day, making an average of 2.2 driving trips. Nationwide, drivers made 183 billion trips, driving 2.6 trillion miles, in 2016 and 2017. In 2016-2017, all driving metrics increased when comparing statistics with the previous period measured, 2014-2015.
The American Driving Survey (ADS) utilizes telephone interviews through landline phones and cellphones to collect data. A standard random-digit-dial telephone survey method was used to select a sample of the respondents.
Data were weighted to adjust for respondents’ probabilities of being selected to participate in the survey, ensuring the weighted statistics represent estimates of the driving done by all drivers nationwide. The statistics presented in this brief, other than the sample size, are based on weighted data. The full questionnaire and details of the methodology are available in Triplett et al. (2016).
The aggregated data not only showed that the total amount of driving nationwide has increased, but identified the key components of this growth. While the percentage of driving-aged people who drive has remained fairly constant, the size of the driving-aged population itself has increased, thus increasing the total number of drivers on the road. In addition, the average daily amount of driving also slightly increased by all measures examined (number of trips, time spent driving and miles driven), which contributed to an increase in the annual average number of miles nationwide in years 2016-2017 relative to the previous two-year period.
Tefft, B.C. (2018). American Driving Survey: 2015-2016. (Research Brief). Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Triplett T, Santos R, Rosenbloom S. (2016). American Driving Survey: 2014-2015. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
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