Vehicle miles traveled down by nearly 10 billion in May

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters reports Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in May 2008 than in May 2007, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data.


This is the largest drop in vehicle-miles traveled for any May, which typically reflects increased traffic due to Memorial Day vacations and the beginning of summer, reports the FHWA.


This also is the third-largest monthly drop in the 66 years such data have been recorded, reports the U.S. Department of Transportation. Three of the largest single-month declines -- each topping 9 billion miles -- have occurred since December.


Vehicle-miles traveled on all public roads for May 2008 fell 3.7% as compared with May 2007 travel, Peters adds, marking a decline of 29.8 billion miles traveled in the first five months of 2008 than the same period a year earlier. This continues a seven-month trend that amounts to 40.5 billion fewer miles traveled between November 2007 and May 2008 than the same period a year before, she says.


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's FHWA monthly report on traffic volume trends, travel in the Northeast fell 4.2%, the South Atlantic region saw a decline of 4.1%, the North Central region was down the largest with a drop of 4.5%, the South Gulf area was off 3.2%, and travel in the West dropped by 2.3%.

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