Drivers traveled more miles on U.S. roads in August to push the yearly total to date past 2 trillion for a new all-time high as well as the largest year-over-year gain in monthly driving, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
August driving miles reached 277.3 billion, which was the largest total of any month on record and underscored the need to increased federal investment in the nation's highway system, according to the agency, which released the data in a new report, "Traffic Volume Trends."
The seasonally-adjusted vehicle miles traveled for August 2015 were 263.3 billion miles, a 3.6% increase compared to the previous August but a slight (0.4%) decrease compared with seasonally adjusted July 2015 figures. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.
With 62.4 billion unadjusted vehicle miles traveled, traffic in the North Central region — a 12-state region that includes North Dakota, Kansas and Michigan — led the nation for the third month in a row. The Northeast, a nine-state area stretching from Pennsylvania to Maine, grew the least and increased only 2% compared to the same month a year earlier.
The number of miles driven has increased each month for 18 consecutive months. The increase in driving activity coincides with recurring low prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.
Read more about the U.S. DOT's plans to address the nation's transportation network by 2045 here.