StreetsBlog recently reported on the record setting pace for total Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in 2015, after a long period of declining/flat VMT during the current cycle of economic expansion. Nonetheless, per capita VMT is still down 6.6% from its peak, and we are driving about as much per capita as we were in 1997. As you would expect, concurrently with this increase in VMT is an increase in traffic deaths as The Palm Beach Post reported this weekend [story below].
Our goal should be to minimize VMT necessary to go about living our lives, not maximize it. Reduce the length and amount of trips necessary and this will go a long way towards creating an economy less dependent on cheap oil in order to function as well as reducing these tragic traffic deaths. I suspect much of this spike in VMT is the result of very low gas prices, especially relative to the rest of the world.
Florida ranks near the top of a list that highlights a concerning trend in the first six months of 2015.
The nation has been a significant increase of fatal traffic crashes nationwide with the Sunshine State third in total number of fatal crashes and second in percentage increase, according to data estimates from the National Safety Council.