Unifying Alabama's Traffic Safety Efforts
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The Demographics page is set up to show the quantifiable statistics regarding traffic safety and the public. On this page you'll find information regarding population, drivers' licenses, health, finances, and community data. Much of the information on this page is provided by the Department of Public Safety, although there are other sources for good demographic information. If you know of a site that has good demographic information, please let us know.

For more information, email Dave B. Brown at brown@cs.ua.edu.
Highway Statistics Series Update
The U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration just announced it has updated its Highway Statistic Series publication with data from 2015.  This study includes data for states' Population, Land Area, Motor Fuel Use and more.

Click Here to Read More about the Highway Statistics Series Update

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December 2016 Traffic Volume Trends
The US Department of Transportation releases data for the month of December 2016.  Based on preliminary reports from the State Highway Agencies, travel during December 2016 on all roads and streets in the nation changed by +0.5% (+1.3 billion vehicle miles) resulting in estimated travel for the month at 263.6 ** billion vehicle-miles.

Click Here to Read More Trends for December 2016

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U.S. Drivers Log 2.4 Trillion Miles In First Nine Months of 2016
USDOT FHA: New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 2.4 trillion miles in the first nine months of 2016, lengthening a series of consecutive monthly increases that started in April 2014.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 265.5 billion miles were driven in September 2016 alone which is a 2.9 percent increase over the previous September. The increase in driving highlights the growing demands facing the nation’s roads and reaffirms the importance of the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act, which is investing $305 billion in America’s surface transportation infrastructure – including $226 billion for roads and bridges – until 2020.

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3% Increase in Travel
The 3% increase in fuel utilization in the first six months of 2016 is the best estimate of overall increase in travel miles.  In just one year there would not be that much of a change in miles per gallon or an increase in non-gas type of vehicles, and the distribution by vehicle type (e.g., CMV,  nonCMV) would not change that much either.  So we can conclude that about 3% of the change, and possibly as much as 4 to 6% over the 2014-2016 was the result of this demographic change.

U.S. Drivers Consumed 71.8 Billion Gallons of Gasoline in First Half of 2016

American vehicles consumed 71.8 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016, an increase of 3 percent over the same period a year earlier. It is the highest amount on record and the sixth consecutive increase in national gasoline consumption for the first six months of any year on record.

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Explaining the Evolution of Passenger Vehicle Miles Traveled in the US
Click Here To Read the Discussion Paper that Explains the Evolution of Passenger Vehicle Miles Traveled in the US

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Passenger Travel Facts and Figures 2016

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Alabama Statistical Abstracts 2014

Click Here to View More Tables

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Crews Begin to Dig Out Leaking Gasoline Pipeline, Spill Could Be 336,000 Gallons
Colonial Pipeline employees and contractors started digging out a leaking underground pipeline that spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline south of Birmingham and shut down a major cog of the country's fuel distribution network, sparking fears of a gas shortage.

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Express Lanes Have a Popularity Problem

Highway express lanes provide a faster trip for carpoolers, people who drive low-emission cars, and solo travelers who are willing to pay more. That’s the idea, anyway. But as Americans drive more miles than ever before, express lanes are facing a challenge: they are too popular. So many drivers of all kinds are using the lanes that it is increasingly difficult for transportation officials to keep them speedy.

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Methodologies Used to Estimate and Forecast Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
Texas A&M Transportation Institute: Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a measure used in transportation planning for a variety of purposes. It measures the amount of travel for all vehicles in a geographic region over a given period of time, typically a one year period. VMT is calculated by adding up all the miles driven by all the cars and trucks on all the roadways in a region. This metric plays an integral role in the transportation planning, policy making, and revenue estimation processes due to its ability to indicate travel demand and behavior.

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U.S. Driving Up 3.3 Percent In First Half of 2016, New Federal Data Show
FHWA – New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving reached 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of 2016, beating the previous record of 1.54 trillion miles set last year. For a sense of scale, 1.58 trillion miles is about 250 roundtrips from Earth to Pluto.

Click Here to Read More

Travel Volume Trends

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration releases a monthly report containing traffic data comparing each State.  They host traffic data from as far back as 1970.  You can find out more here.
ALDOT: Average Vehicle Miles Traveled (AVMT) 2015

Provided by ALDOT

Past Years VMTs
Road Crashes Compared with Other Causes of Death in the Individual U.S. States
This study compared, for each U.S. state, the fatalities per population from road crashes with fatalities per population from five leading causes of death (heart diseases, cancer, lung diseases, strokes, and Alzheimer’s disease) and from all causes. The raw data, applicable to 2013, came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The main findings are as follows:

  1. In the United States, there were 10.4 fatalities from road crashes per 100,000 population, as compared with 193.3 from heart diseases, 185.0 from cancer, 47.2 from lung diseases, 40.8 from strokes, and 26.8 from Alzheimer’s disease. The highest fatality rate from road crashes was in Montana (22.6) and the lowest in the District of Columbia (3.1)

  2. In the United States, fatalities from road crashes represented 1.3% of fatalities from all causes. The highest percentage was in Montana (2.4%) and the lowest in the District of Columbia (0.4%). 

  3. In the United States, fatalities from road crashes corresponded to 5.4% of fatalities from heart diseases, 5.6% of fatalities from cancer, 21.9% of fatalities from lung diseases, 25.4% of fatalities from strokes, and 38.6% of fatalities from Alzheimer’s disease. 

  4. Fatalities from road crashes as a percentage of fatalities from other causes of death varied greatly among the states. For example, fatalities from road crashes as a percentage of fatalities from Alzheimer’s disease ranged from 91.4% in New Mexico to 13.3% in Washington.

What's Behind Big Rise in Traffic Deaths in 2015?
Traffic deaths were up 14 percent nationally in the first six months of this year, reports the National Safety Council. Drunk driving and teen deaths are trending down. But more drivers are texting, and a growing number of states are raising speed limits.
Article from The Christian Science Monitor
Read Full Article Here
Chances of Driver Dying in Car Crash Plummets
The chances of a driver dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The rollover death rate of 5 per million registered vehicle years for 2011 models is less than a quarter of what it was for 2004 models, and six of the nine vehicles with zero deaths were SUVs.

The nine models with zero deaths were: Audi A4 four-wheel drive, a midsized luxury car; Honda Odyssey, a minivan; Kia Sorento two-wheel drive, a mid-sized SUV; the Lexus RX 350 four-wheel drive, a midsized luxury SUV; Mercedes-Benz GL-Class four-wheel drive, a large luxury SUV; Subaru Legacy four-wheel drive, a 4-door midsized car; Toyota Highlander hybrid, a four-wheel drive midsized SUV; Toyota Sequoia, a four-wheel drive large SUV, and Volvo XC90, a four-wheel drive luxury midsized SUV.

Although the latest numbers reflect 2011 models, the study included data from earlier-model year vehicles as far back as 2008 if the vehicles weren't substantially redesigned before 2011. Including older, equivalent vehicles increases the exposure and thus the accuracy of the results, the institute said. To be included, a vehicle must have had at least 100,000 registered vehicle years of exposure during 2009-12, or at least 20 deaths.
Major Changes in Demographics
During the recent recession both younger drivers and older drivers drove less than what they did in the past . These are two of the highest risk and/ OR vulnerable drivers . This is yet another likely contributing factor to the significant decrease in fatalities we experienced during that time period. -- Tom Welch, Highway Safety Engineer, Iowa

Information about Sustainable Worldwide Transportation is available at http://www.umich.edu/~umtriswt. The following is a summary of the article:

This survey examined why a substantial percentage of young adults currently do not have a driver’s license, and the future plans of this group concerning obtaining a license. The survey yielded useable responses from 618 persons aged 18 to 39 without a driver’s license.

The top eight reasons (primary or secondary) for not having a driver’s license were as follows: (1) too busy or not enough time to get a driver’s license (37%), (2) owning and maintaining a vehicle is too expensive (32%), (3) able to get transportation from others (31%), (4) prefer to bike or walk (22%), (5) prefer to use public transportation (17%), (6) concerned about how driving impacts the environment (9%), (7) able to communicate and/or conduct business online instead (8%), and (8) disability/medical/vision problems (7%).

Of the respondents, 22% indicated that they plan on never getting a driver’s license. On the other hand, 69% expect to get a driver’s license within the next five years.

Young adults without a driver’s license—in comparison with the general population of the same age—tend to have less education and higher unemployment. However, the present study was not designed to investigate whether there is a causal relationship, or the direction of the effect if there were such a relationship.
Driver's Licenses by Age
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Age Amount
19 and Under 9,743
20-24 15,966
25-29 17,585
30-34 19,154
35-39 21,060
40-44 21,093
45-49 19,153
50-54 16,868
55-59 12,760
60-64 9,914
65-69 8,386
70-74 7,468
75-79 5,911
80-84 3,511
85 and Over 2,050

‚Äč* All information provided by the US Department of Transportation 
** Numbers are in thousands