How far do you drive each day? Our poll results

October 19, 2016

According to the US. Department of Transportation, the average American drives 13,476 miles per year.  That works out to 1,123 miles each month and about 37 miles per day.

That's in keeping with statistics we've seen before--statistics that automakers have relied on when developing electric cars. After all, if 95 percent of Americans could make do with electric vehicles offering just 40 miles of driving range, why go overboard?

And yet, though electrics and hybrids continue to make gains in the U.S. and elsewhere, they've been off to a slow start. Their higher prices have surely played a role in that, as have today's low fuel prices, which have encouraged consumers to stick with the gas-powered vehicles that they've come to know and love over the past century.

But we also know that range anxiety among consumers remains a problem for electric car makers, even though, as we just mentioned, the anxiety doesn't appear to be justified.

Then again, maybe it is. Maybe the DOT's stats are wrong, and people are traveling more than we think. To get to the bottom of this pressing mystery, we created a poll and turned to Twitter for answers:

 As you can see, most respondents fell at or below the 50 mile limit. While 45 percent said that they drove between 10 and 50 miles per day, a very enviable 33 percent said that they drove fewer than 10 miles a day.

Just 22 percent of respondents drove more than 50 miles over the course of the day, with a road-weary 11 percent putting over 100 miles on their odometers every 24 hours. Ouch.

What we neglected to ask in our poll was whether respondents were male or female. The DOT notes some fairly dramatic discrepancies between men (who drive 16,550 miles each year) and women (who drive just 10,142, on average). The gap between the two grows with age, so that by age 65, women are driving less than half the number of miles that men do. If and when we do this poll again, we'd be interested to see if those trends hold true among our Twitter followers.

If you missed our survey and want to share your own mileage stats, feel free to do so in the comments below.

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