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On the road again...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So I ran into an article while surfing Fark.com that was from the US Department of Transportation, entitled "Americans Driving at Historic Lows". It seems that the huge increases in the cost of gasoline definitely have an effect on the driving Americans do; we drove 11 BILLION fewer miles in March of 2008 than in March of 2007. That's pretty awesome news.

However, what I found really interesting about that article what the following:
Total VMT in the United States for 2006, the most recent year for which such data are available, topped 3 trillion miles.
That's 3,000,000,000,000 miles in the United States alone. That's... a lot. We could have driven the Earth's orbit around the sun something like 5,000 times (roughly).

Consider this another way, however. If the average vehicle driven in 2006 got about 25 miles per gallon (not tough to imagine) and the average cost of fuel in 2006 was, say, a conservative $2.50 (it was probably higher), then Americans spent something like $300,000,000,000 on gasoline. The CIA world factbook has the 2006 US GDP at $13.13 trillion. That means that 2.284% of our GDP was on fuel alone.

That's a lot of money.

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