Americans driving less
Gas prices spiked last year and motorists drove 112 billion fewer miles, according to a federal report.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As gas prices spiked last year, American motorists responded by driving less.
Motorists drove 112 billion fewer miles during the 13-month period between November 1, 2007 and November 30, 2008 compared with the year-prior period, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday.
The average price of a gallon of gas on Nov. 1, 2008, was $2.46, compared to $2.91 a year prior, according to AAA. In the interim, gas prices skyrocketed to record highs, reaching $4.11 a gallon in mid-July.
Driving volume posted its steepest monthly drop in November since 1971, the DOT reported. Americans drove 5.3% less, or 12.9 billion fewer miles, compared with November 2007.
The steepest drop off in driving was reported in the South Atlantic region, with 6.4% fewer miles traveled in November 2008 compared to the same time a year prior.
Among states, the biggest drop off in driving was recorded in Rhode Island, where motorists drove 11.6% fewer miles in November 2008 over the same month a year earlier.
Overall, the decline in driving in steeper among rural motorists than urban drivers.
Average gasoline prices rose for the ninth day in a row Thursday, to $1.85 a gallon from $1.84 the day before, according to AAA.