How Many Miles Average American Drive | Tire Maintenance

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 09:34 am

American drivers on highway of los angeles

Approximately 300 million personal and commercial vehicles are under ownership in the US. And an average American drives 13596 miles annually, according to the latest driving stats by FHWA. That’s 2.06, 1.98, and 2.23 times more than the average German, French, and British. 

According to traffic volume trends, the collective number of miles Americans drove last year was 2.2% higher than in 2022. The reasons behind this record-breaking number of miles include regular commutes to work post-pandemic and low gas prices in 2023. 

Since U.S. diesel and gas prices are expected to reduce further this year, the average American’s driving miles may add up a little more.

Average Miles Driven Per Year by State 

Of the 50 states of the US, Southern and Midwestern areas are reported to have the highest average annual mileage. In contrast, East Coast drivers drove the least, per the FHWA 2022 report. 

There could be many reasons behind these variations. These include transportation infrastructure, professional preference, fuel costs, and population density. The following table shows the annual miles recorded, the number of licensed drivers, and the annual mileage per driver in 50 states. 

StateTraveled Miles/Year (millions)Licensed Drivers Annual Mileage/driver
Dist. of Col.34215109856694
Source: FHWA
StateTraveled Miles/Year (millions)Licensed Drivers Annual Mileage/driver
New Hampshire13281117482611304
New Jersey75288663393611349
New Mexico26831150857517786
New York115382120846759548
North Carolina119381798026214960
North Dakota918056316116300
Rhode Island75317604149903
South Carolina58988409165014417
South Dakota1017067971114962
West Virginia15312114840613334

Which States Have the Highest Mileage & Why?

The following states are reported to have the highest annual vehicle miles and yearly miles per capita. 

Top states with Highest Mileage per driver

Wyoming has the highest mileage per driver. The reason may include the following: 

Wyoming is a rural area with a low population density, spreading out towns and cities. This results in long commutes between the workplace and residence. 

Moreover, limited public transportation contributes to the state’s heavy reliance on personal vehicles and, thus, mileage. 

Wyoming has a 96% employment rate. It holds a sixth place on the list of states with residents who have multiple jobs, which contributes to more commutes for working purposes. 

Which States Have the Lowest Mileage & Why? 

Top states with lowest average mileage per driver

The District of Colombia (DC) has the lowest mileage per driver in 2022. The reason being its size and population. DC is a considerably smaller state with a dense population. Residences and markets are adequately situated within walking distance. 

Another big factor is the availability of car parking. In this matter, DC and New York share common grounds. Also, proper public transportation is another great factor in encouraging drivers to use it in these states. 

Washington is also reported to have a few miles per vehicle owner. This can be attributed to the state’s Commute Trip Reduction Law of 1991

According to this law, each city and county must reduce its drive-alone trips to worksites with over 100 employees. Instead, use alternatives such as cycling, walking, public transport, carpooling, etc. 

Another reason is the state’s walkability. Many commercial and residential areas are within walking distance. It encourages residents to get around on foot, eliminating the need for driving.

Average Miles Per Year by Demographics

Number of miles an average American drives also varies depending on demographics. Let’s see how age, gender, and occupation affect the number of miles annually.


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that men drive more than women. FHWA reported males drive approximately 16,500 miles and females drive 10,400 miles annually, a difference of 45%.

Social norms and commuting preferences may be the contributing factors. According to a study by the ACS of the US Census, women (55%) prefer public transportation to work compared to men (45%). This is one of the reasons for their low average miles per year despite having more licensed drivers among them.


According to FHWA, 35 to 54-year-old Americans drive the most, followed by 20-34 and 55-64 age groups, Elderly aged 65+ and 16 to 19-year-old adults drive the least. 

Miles recorded by different age and gender graph

Working-age people drive the most. Driving licenses and weak physical conditions may keep teens and older people away from getting behind the wheel more than often, respectively. 

Profession/Employment type

Profession and employment type significantly affect the miles a person drives annually. People who work remotely are reported to have lower mileage than on-site workers. For example, during the pandemic, the miles driven dropped significantly due to the lockdown, which caused people to work from home. 

Now, if we talk about professions, delivery drivers, truck haulers, sales representatives, service technicians, etc., often travel long distances. This results in higher annual mileage than the average. According to a study, long-hauler or trucker-trailer drivers drive more than double that of ordinary light-duty vehicle drivers. 

However, a real estate agent or realtor drives less than the average annual mileage because their work often involves business activities in nearby or local areas. Hence, they drive approximately 7K to 10K miles per year. 

Average Annual Miles by Vehicle Type/Category 

Nowadays, we see a variety of vehicles designed for different purposes. The vehicle type or category may impact the number of miles driven annually. For example, EV drivers are reported to drive 4500 miles less annually than those with gas-powered vehicles.

Moving on to vehicle types, heavy-duty vehicles or Class 8 trucks, such as tractor-trailers, long-haulers, cement trucks, etc., have the highest average annual vehicle miles. Then come the transit buses, demand response, refuse trucks, and delivery trucks. 

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics concluded the same results after conducting a study in 2022. According to the reports, motorcycles are ridden about 2K miles annually. So, people with two or three-wheelers contribute less to the annual miles driven in the US than those with commercial vehicles. 

How Many Miles a Year Is Considered High?

Taking 13596 as the average mileage per year in the US, anything greater than this would be considered high. So, it’s wise to stick within 13,000 to 14,000-mile limits annually. Otherwise, you may have to face the following issues.

Harms of Going Over the Average Miles Per Year 

Exceeding the average annual miles may disturb your budget, affect the environment, and put people’s lives at risk. Here’s how:

Vehicle depreciation

Among the many factors contributing to car depreciation, mileage is the major. The more you drive, the faster your car will lose its value. This means you’ll have a higher cost of ownership and more loss when reselling than those with the same model and lower mileage ratings. 

Expensive insurance 

The number of miles you drive annually determines the cost of insurance premiums. According to Forbes Advisor, you’ll have to pay insurance companies more if you drive a lot. Driving more miles than recommended increases the risk of accidents and significant repairs. Hence, insurers charge you more.

Environmental impact 

The additional miles you drive not only burden your pocket but also contribute to environmental pollution. Vehicle emissions are the major cause of air pollution and, thus, diseases. 

Personal vehicles such as cars and trucks make up 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. So, in a country that already ranks second in emitting the highest CO2 per capita after China, driving more miles than the average can only worsen the situation. 

Safety concerns due to tire failure

The more you drive, the faster the tires wear. The rubber weakens due to friction, and the tread becomes shallower, leading to compromised grip, poor performance, and, thus, safety concerns. 

More than 600 people die each year in 11,000 vehicle crashes. The major culprit? Tires. In many cases, tire blowout occurs due to worn-out tread sections and internal damage, making the tire sensitive to failures. 

Fatalities from tire related accidents by each year

It ultimately leads to fatalities and injuries. Last year, several people were injured due to tires blowing out on U.S. 41 near the Patoka River Bridge. 

Tips to Optimise Your Average Annual Mileage 

The following tips can help you get the most out of your average annual miles. 

Get a fuel-efficient vehicle. 

Opt for fuel-saving vehicles for personal and commercial use. Alternatively, you can consider switching to EVs or hybrids. Since the government is promoting EV adoption by introducing several incentives and lowering prices, it’s the best time to purchase. 

Maintain tires properly 

Proper and regular tire care goes a long way in optimizing your annual mileage. The following are the issues to inspect and address: 

Alignment and rotation: Check the wheel alignment regularly. Misaligned tires increase rolling resistance, affecting tire performance and, thus, mileage. Likewise, rotating tires at regular intervals ensure even tread wear. All these things also contribute to a comfortable and safe driving experience. 

Pressure: Under- or overinflated tires can cause serious damage. Check air pressure regularly and inflate tires to the recommended levels to avoid blowouts. 

Puncture: A tiny nail or stone in the tire tread is enough to risk your and others’ lives. Check tire punctures before going out to avoid damage. Moreover, keep a tire plug and patch tool kit in your car for emergency puncture repair. 

Adopt smooth driving habits. 

If you’re an aggressive driver who loves to go fast, choose challenging routes, etc., you’re likely to add more miles for fuel stations and repair shops than the person who drives smoothly. It’s wise to maintain a steady speed, opt for plain paths, accelerate smoothly, and apply brakes gradually. 

Track distance beforehand & monitor daily miles.

Checking the distance before driving can help you find efficient routes, such as shortcuts or paths with less traffic. Likewise, monitoring daily miles on an odometer ensures that you’re within set limits. 


How many miles does an average person drive in a month?

The average driver drove 13596 miles annually, 1132 miles monthly, and 38 miles daily in 2022. 

What is the average mileage of a car in the US?

The average car mileage in the US ranges from 13400 to 13600 miles annually. However, the figure can be low or high if we consider factors such as age, gender, and location. 

Is 30K miles a year a lot? 

Yes, 30,000 miles on a car is considered high compared to the yearly mileage of the average person in the US. 1000 to 1200 miles a month should be your target, especially if you are on a lower car lease package. 

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