Finding proof of the effect of rising fuel prices on the average American requires little more than a trip to your local used car lot, freshly filled with SUVs and pickups while subcompacts see significant markups. But more evidence of the impact of the rising price of fuel has come in the form of figures showing Americans drove 30 billion fewer miles between November 2007 and April 2008 than they did for the 2006-2007 period.

The total reduction in miles traveled is only 1%, but considering growth in drivers and vehicles happens at a rate of 1-2% annually, the 1% reduction in total miles is much more significant, reports USA Today. Despite the pain at the pump and the consequent dimming of America's love affair with the open road, it's not all bad news.

The drop in miles driven means a small decrease in overal traffic congestion, at least initially, which could mean an extra 15 minutes or more in the morning or evening for many commuters. Experts think the congestion may return, however, after drivers adjust their schedules to the more free-flowing traffic. "You get enough people doing that and you're back to congestion," says Tim Lomax from the Texas Transportation Institute.