Local News

N.C. drivers going thousands of fewer miles

Posted July 10, 2008

— North Carolinians drove more than 200,000 fewer miles in April 2008 than in the same month last year, according to the United States Department of Transportation.

March saw a steeper drop – drivers covered more 500,000 fewer miles of North Carolina roadways than in March 2007. That's a 6.3 percent decrease in March and 3.6 percent, in April.

Motorists drove about 8.36 million miles on North Carolina roads in both months.

“We’re burning less fuel as energy costs change driving patterns, steer people toward more fuel-efficient vehicles and encourage more to use transit," U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said.

Nationally, drivers have also gone fewer miles, dropping by 1.8 percent in April, compared to April 2007. On a national scale, that decrease equates to 20 billion fewer miles driven.

Motorists drove 1.4 billion fewer miles on national highways in April.

Americans have also started to change their car-buying habits, as well, according U.S. DOT officials.

In May, sales of mid-sized sport-utility vehicles were down 38 percent over May 2007. Car sales, meanwhile, have started grabbing up more of the market share. They accounted for under half of industry volume in 2007, but rose to 57 percent in May.

Peters said past trends shown Americans continuing to drive during high gas prices, but picking more fuel-efficient vehicles. She expressed concern that decreasing gasoline consumption would mean decreasing taxpayer funds for roads.

“History shows that we’re going to continue to see congested roads, while gas tax revenues decline even further,” she said.


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  • gammasandi Jul 11, 2008

    oh, and what about the aging population? we would love to ride mass transit to avoid the highway chaos. anyone for starting a business of bussing us to the big cities on certain nights for plays, dinner, games etc? forget the new highways and do something that makes sense for a change.

  • jsanders Jul 11, 2008

    Thing is, if we put road revenues in proportion to congested roads and road needs, we could take care of the problems without needing more revenues (i.e., without needing to hike taxes):

  • colliedave Jul 10, 2008

    History shows that we’re going to continue to see congested roads, while gas tax revenues decline even further,” she said.

    What will happen is what happened here in Raleigh; we conserved water and as a result with less revenue, the Meekerites raised prices to offset the loss. The only solution is to purge liberals from all leveks of government.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 10, 2008

    How can they possibly know how many miles have been driven? I could understand they can get data on how much gas and diesel is purchased in the state, but how do you guess how many miles that translate to be? You have no idea who bought the gas. Someone driving an eight cylinder that buys 100 dollars worth of gas will travel fewer miles than someone driving a four cylinder on 100 dollars of gas.

  • TheAdmiral Jul 10, 2008

    Wow - this article helped me alot. I now know that I drive less miles than I normally do and I haven't moved!

  • teacher-mom Jul 10, 2008

    Hey is it just me or is this article improperly worded?

  • teacher-mom Jul 10, 2008

    I do not think we have seen anything yet. I agree with EZ; fewer miles usually means fewer cars. There should be plenty of room on the roads. We need to invest in more mass transit. There is one Amtrak train from Charlotte to Wilson and Rocky Mount and up the east coast daily. You cannot go to Charlotte and come back the same day. I do not know about the buses. There needs to be more transportation. NOt everybody needs to go to the mall and doctor everyday. We need to go to work.

  • Six String Jul 10, 2008

    "...term limits on the rest of them, so they can do the right thing without fear of getting voted out of office."

    How about we do that on a national level as well? Two terms, you're out.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jul 10, 2008

    Spartanpirate, I don't think most of us would care if they wisely spent the funds on road projects..but a new bride to Sen. Basnights restaurant, a new meusuem in Roa. Rapids, and the political pay off list goes on and on. We have two things to do 1. vote these spenders out of office 2. term limits on the rest of them, so they can do the right thing without fear of getting voted out of office.

  • spartanpirate Jul 10, 2008

    The government doesn't care about that. All they care about is spending, spending, spending. If they can't get the money they want from the current gas tax then they'll just raise it more so that our legislative body will have funds to steer the way they want them to so that new roads can be built.

    That's our tax dollars at work.