Unifying Alabama's Traffic Safety Efforts
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Demographics
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.
Older Drivers Set Record For Second Year
Transportation.gov: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published new data today showing a record-high 221.7 million licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2016, including 41.7 million – or almost one in five – who are 65 years or older. This age group is growing faster than any other, and is far outpacing their teenage counterparts. 

The largest single-year percentage increase in licensed drivers that year was among those who are between 75-79 years old, increasing by 4.98 percent over the previous year. Except for five states – Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming – the nation saw increases among licensed drivers in 2016 compared to the previous year.

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Travel Monitoring - Traffic Volume Trends
Office of Highway Policy Information: Traffic Volume Trends is a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data reported by the States. These data are collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations nationwide and are used to estimate the percent change in traffic for the current month compared with the same month in the previous year. Estimates are re-adjusted annually to match the vehicle miles of travel from the Highway Performance Monitoring System and are continually updated with additional data.

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U.S. Roadway Traffic in 2017 Increases 1.4 Percent Through August
AASHTO: The level of motor vehicle traffic on U.S. roads and streets grew 1.4 percent this year through August, the Federal Highway Administration said, as drivers accumulated 30.6 billion more vehicle miles than in the first eight months of 2016.

That also means traffic volume continues to set new highs, since 2016 was a record-high year for the U.S. driving public and each month of 2017 has seen volume reach ever higher.

So far in 2017, the FHWA in its latest monthly "traffic volume trends" report estimated that U.S. drivers had accumulated nearly 2.148 trillion vehicle miles of travel through August.

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U.S. Highway Traffic Hits Another Record High in July, Adding to System Demand
AASHTO: Motor vehicle travel on all U.S. roads rose again in July to continue a streak of setting ever-higher record volume levels with every new monthly report. The Federal Highway Administration in its latest "Traffic Volume Trends" report said motorists drove 2.2 billion more vehicle miles in July than in the same month last year, for a 0.8 percent gain over July 2016. 

For the first seven months of 2017 the FHWA said vehicle miles traveled increased by 1.5 percent, after setting an all-time annual high in 2016. 
That steady increase in traffic helps explain why so many areas of the country continue to face worsening highway congestion, fraying pavement and other signs of stress on the U.S. transportation infrastructure. The new evidence of growing traffic pressure on the road system also comes at a time when various federal sources of infrastructure funding have been delayed, which in turn can delay some project investments that could improve roadway mobility and safety along with pavement conditions.



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U.S. Driving Increases for Sixth Straight Year, New Federal Data Show
Office of Public Affairs: New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 1.58 trillion miles in the first six months of 2017 – or more than 8,500 roundtrips from Earth to the Sun – continuing a streak of steadily increasing vehicle miles travelled (VMT) that began in 2011.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 280.9 billion miles were driven in June 2017 alone, which is 3.4 billion miles more than the previous June. The increase in driving over the first half of the year highlights the growing demands challenging the nation’s roads, and reaffirms the importance of improving the nation’s infrastructure investments and streamlining the environmental and permitting processes.

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Travel Monitoring
Office of Highway Policy Information: Traffic Volume Trends is a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data reported by the States. These data are collected at approximately 4,000 continuous traffic counting locations nationwide and are used to estimate the percent change in traffic for the current month compared with the same month in the previous year. Estimates are re-adjusted annually to match the vehicle miles of travel from the Highway Performance Monitoring System and are continually updated with additional data.

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City Driving Spikes, Rural Driving Falls as Opportunity Shifts
USA Today: The divide between urban and rural America in widening in another area that has nothing to do with politics: driving.U.S. city driving has spiked since 2000, while rural driving has declined in a sudden turnabout that cannot be explained by population trends, according to a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study released Tuesday.

Miles driven in urban environments rose by 33% from 2000 to 2016, according to the study. Miles driven in rural areas fell by 12%. Population changes don't explain the trend. During the same period, the number of people living in urban areas rose by 19%, while the rural population was flat.


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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


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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.

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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