People in this country spend an additional full 20 minutes driving weekly when compared to 2014, according to a 2018 study that was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Over the course of the calendar year, Americans collectively spent more than 70 billion hours behind the wheel, equaling an 8 percent increase since 2014. Each week, drivers travel in excess of 220 miles, which means that Americans drive an average of 11,498 miles annually- equal to making two full roundtrip drives from San Francisco all the way to the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

At 1stCertified Collision Center, we know that people in the U.S. drive a lot, but these numbers are surprising.

The highly-regarded Executive Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Dr. David Yang said that with more drivers spending more time behind the wheel, exposure to risks on the roadway is the greater now than ever. He also stated that increased time behind the wheel might lead to a whole series of problems, such as fatigue, distraction, anxiety, headaches, bloating and impatience for drivers, which can lead to cars crashes and other accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Drivers need to always stay alert and focus on the key task at hand, which is driving, Yang said, saving their lives and the lives of their passengers and people with whom they share the road.

The AAA Foundation’s American Driving Survey reported that on average, U.S. drivers spend almost an hour behind the wheel daily and travel 31.5 miles, which is a 5% increase from 2014.

Men spend 19% more time operating a vehicle and drive 27% more miles than women drive.

People who are currently married or cohabitating with a partner spend at least 12% more time driving than those who are not.

Drivers aged 75-plus are spending, on average 8 minutes a daily– a 23% increase from 2014.

Drivers in the West spend the most time operating a car (58.9 minutes daily), followed by drivers in the Northeast region (51.1 minutes); South (49.9 minutes) and Midwest (44.5 minutes) regions of the country.

The number of people who reported operating a vehicle in the Midwest decreased by 3% while the number of vehicle operators in the Northeast, South and Western regions increased or stayed the same.

These new results are part of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s American Driving Survey that reveals the driving habits of U.S. drivers. This data is from a representative sample of 11,804 drivers who provided data about their driving habits.

Sources: the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Business News