Drivers Logging Lowest Mileage Since Carter Era

July 29, 2008


A new report from the Federal Highway Administration says American drivers logged fewer miles once more in May, for the seventh month in a row.

Bloomberg says the continued drops in driving could mean we're headed for the lowest total miles driven in the country since 1980--at the end of the Carter administration, which was also marked by a dramatic run-up in energy prices. The news service says May mileage for U.S. drivers dropped 3.7 percent from the year before, and that the seventh month of falling mileage beats previous stretches all the way back to 1979.

This time around, it's Iran, gas prices, and heavy consumption that have driven gas prices to historic $4 highs and have driven us to other solutions, including putting fewer miles on our vehicles. Back in 1980, the circumstances were eerily familiar: trouble in Iran, rising gas prices, and big-time gas bills from behemoth vehicles.

So far this year, American drivers have cruised 2.4 percent fewer miles than in 2007, with the north-central U.S. registering the biggest decline.

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