Daily commuting and work related travel has increased slightly while total travel time per person has decreased over the past 11 years, according to a study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
One of the study's major findings was that the average travel times in connection with all activities measured decreased by approximately 10 percent from 2004 to 2014. Distance driven per person peaked in 2004.
Overall, the average hours spent traveling daily for work or work-related purposes rose by approximately three percent. Work related travel for men rose by approximately 3.7 percent from 2004 to 2014 and 4.6 percent respectively for women.
Apart from work, the study also measured daily travel related to personal care; eating and drinking; household activities; purchasing goods and services; caring for and helping household members; caring for and helping nonhousehold members; education; organizational, civic, and religious activities; and leisure and sports.
The data used in the study was obtained from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). The analysis used three variables from ATUS including the average hours spent traveling per day by activity for all persons, average percentages of persons traveling per day by activity and the average hours spent traveling per day by activity for persons who traveled in connection with the activity.
Michael Sivak, author of the study and director of the university's Transportation Research Institute, found that the reduction in people traveling for the activities measured was not due to a decrease in the time spent traveling.
For more information, view the abstract here.