Drivers logged 237.3 billion miles in January

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) said March 24 that Americans drove 237.3 billion miles in January.

The new data is a significant increase from January 2014 and prompted calls for larger investments in transportation infrastructure to address predicted record-setting traffic volume in the coming years.

The FHWA’S “Traffic Volume Trends” said Americans drove 4.9 percent more in January 2015 than in January 2014 — the largest single-month increase for any January in the past 15 years.

"These data make it clear that traffic volumes are growing nationwide," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "To keep our highways safe and less congested, we should not only invest in our nation's infrastructure to expand capacity, but also look toward the future by encouraging greater technological innovations, which can make travel safer and more convenient."

The estimates in “Traffic Volume Trends” are based on data collected from approximately 4,000 continuous traffic-counting locations across the country.

"These estimates are a central part of the research we conduct to understand and anticipate changing conditions on our roads and bridges," Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said. "Increased demand on America's interstate system requires long-term infrastructure investment to ensure our nation can compete globally."

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