American Driving Survey: 2022
This research brief presents statistics on the amount of driving done by the American public in 2022 based on data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual American Driving Survey.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 dramatically changed many aspects of Americans’ daily lives, including travel behavior. As the United States continues to recover, some patterns of daily life that were disrupted by the pandemic are returning to previous trends, some shifts in lifestyles remain, and some new practices are emerging. This Research Brief provides highlights from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2022 American Driving Survey, which quantifies the daily driving of the U.S. population in 2022 and compares results to 2021 and 2020.
Members of a pre-recruited research panel were invited to participate in an online or telephone interview in which they were asked to report basic information about all of the travel that they did on the day before the interview. Approximately 5,100 participants were interviewed each year, with interviews spread approximately evenly over all days of the year. The survey was administered in English and in Spanish, primarily online but also by telephone to increase the survey’s coverage of the population.
Estimates of daily driving were obtained by computing the mean numbers of trips, minutes, and miles of driving reported by respondents. Estimates of trip-level characteristics including proportion of trips by category, mean minutes, and miles per driving trip were obtained from a dataset of all driving trips reported by respondents. Estimates of total trips, minutes, and miles driven by all drivers nationwide annually were obtained by multiplying daily driver-level means by 365 to produce annualized statistics and then multiplying by the estimated total number of drivers in the United States.
Statistics reported in this Research Brief are based on interviews performed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022. Data were weighted to account for each respondent’s probability of having been invited to participate in the survey and to align the demographic characteristics of the respondents with those of the U.S. population.
- 94.5% of U.S. residents ages 16 years and older drove at least occasionally in 2022, unchanged from 2021 and 2020.
- Drivers made an average of 2.44 driving trips, spending 60.2 minutes behind the wheel, and driving 30.1 miles each day in 2022, all of which represented small but not statistically significant decreases relative to 2021.
- Projecting these results nationwide, drivers made a total of 227 billion driving trips, spent 93 billion hours driving, and drove 2.8 trillion miles in 2022.
- Some of the travel patterns reported by population groups that were disrupted by the pandemic appeared to return to pre-pandemic trends:
- Similar to pre-pandemic trends, but unlike results from 2020-2021, respondents from non-metropolitan areas drove more than their metropolitan counterparts in 2022.
- Drivers aged 20–24 and 25–34 drove slightly less than drivers aged 35–49 in 2022, contrary to trends from 2020 and 2021 when drivers aged 20–34 drove more than those aged 35–49.
- Other travel patterns, first observed after the onset of the pandemic, have continued:
- In 2021 and 2022, drivers who identified as Hispanic or Latino reported more driving than any other ethnic group across all measures.
- Drivers with high school education, some college, or a two-year degree reported more time spent driving than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in both 2021 and 2022.