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The asphalt’s getting crowded

January 25, 2013

Americans are driving more miles and sitting in more traffic than ever before. It's taking a toll on roads.

Americans drive nearly twice as many miles as they did in 1980, but miles of public roads have barely increased (6 percent). Simply maintaining those roads in their current state costs $101 billion a year. Drivers log an average of 13,476 miles per year, or 37 miles a day. The number of Americans with driver’s licenses increased 45 percent, from 145 million in 1980 to 210 million in 2010. We spend more than twice as much time in traffic congestion – 14 hours per year in 1982 to 34 per year in 2010.