July saw another sharp drop in vehicle miles traveled (aka VMT) according to the Federal Highway Administration’s monthly report on “Traffic Volume Trends.”
Lost in all the news about the financial meltdown and the election is the report that Americans drove 3.6 percent less, or 9.6 billion miles fewer, in July 2008 than July 2007. Okay, maybe it wasn’t lost in all the news — it looks like the FHA didn’t bother issuing a press release (see here). I guess even they are blas© about reductions in driving that just a few months ago would have been record-setting.
In any case, the moving 12-month trend-line remains striking:
The figure again makes clear $4 a gallon is the first (but not the last) genuine tipping point for U.S. drivers — though obviously it will get harder and harder to know whether further drops in driving over the next several months are due to high gasoline prices or the sharp decline in the US economy.
Yes, gasoline prices are headed down in the short term, but that will be the subject of another post.
- Q: Will we see $3 gasoline before we see $5?
- Must read CIBC report: $7 gas by 2010, 10 million cars off the road, 1970s style GDP growth
- Note to media/Bush: Saudis/OPEC don’t control the price of oil any more!
- $12 – $15 gas? Not so fast. But we’ll soon be mad for $6 – $7
- Peak-a-boo: Goldman says oil ‘likely’ to hit $150-$200 by 2010. That means $5+ gasoline.
- Note to Bush, media: Opening ANWR cuts gas prices one penny in 2025
- Peak Oil? Bring it on!
- Thirsty oil-rich nations reduce exports
- Why I don’t agree with James Kunstler aboutthe “end of suburbia”
- IEA warns of impending oil and gas supply crunch
- My 1996 warnings and predictions: “MidEast Oil Forever?” — Part I: Drifting Toward Disaster