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.