Has Motorization in the U.S. Peaked? Part 2: Use of Light-Duty Vehicles (Michael Sivak, 2013)

This study is an examination of trends from 1984-2011 in distances driven by light-duty vehicles in the U.S. This is in contrast to several other recent studies that analyzed distances driven by all vehicles including medium and heavy trucks, buses, and motorcycles). The report presents trends in the absolute distances driven, but also distances driven per person, per licensed driver, per household, and per registered vehicle. All of these rates reached their maxima in 2004—four years prior to the beginning of the current economic downturn. The study concludes that  because the onset of the reductions in the driving rates was not the result of short-term, economic changes, the 2004 maxima in the distance-driven rates have a reasonable chance of being long-term peaks as well.
Download the full study.