The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 dramatically changed many aspects of Americans’ daily lives, including travel behavior. As the United States continues to recover, some patterns of daily life that were disrupted by the pandemic are returning to previous trends. However, some shifts in lifestyles remain, and some new practices are emerging. This Research Brief provides highlights from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2022 American Driving Survey, which quantifies the daily driving of the U.S. population in 2022 and compares results to 2021 and 2020.
- 94.5% of U.S. residents ages 16 years and older drove at least occasionally in 2022, unchanged from 2021 and 2020.
- Drivers made an average of 2.44 driving trips, spending 60.2 minutes behind the wheel, and driving 30.1 miles each day in 2022, all of which represented small but not statistically significant decreases relative to 2021.
- Projecting these results nationwide, drivers made a total of 227 billion driving trips, spent 93 billion hours driving, and drove 2.8 trillion miles in 2022.
- Some of the travel patterns reported by population groups that were disrupted by the pandemic appeared to return to pre-pandemic trends:
- Similar to pre-pandemic trends, but unlike results from 2020-2021, respondents from non-metropolitan areas drove more than their metropolitan counterparts in 2022.
- Drivers aged 20–24 and 25–34 drove slightly less than drivers aged 35–49 in 2022, contrary to trends from 2020 and 2021 when drivers aged 20–34 drove more than those aged 35–49.
- Other travel patterns, first observed after the onset of the pandemic, have continued:
- In 2021 and 2022, drivers who identified as Hispanic or Latino reported more driving than any other ethnic group across all measures.
- Drivers with high school education, some college, or a two-year degree reported more time spent driving than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in both 2021 and 2022.
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
- Established in 1947 by AAA, the Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by researching their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research informs the development of educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users.
Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, and financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of over 63 million members across North America, including over 56 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA offers or become a member, visit AAA.com.