Some patterns of daily life that were disrupted by the pandemic are returning to previous trends, but not all — here are the key findings
Heathrow, Fla.—The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 dramatically changed many aspects of Americans’ daily lives, including travel behavior. Some patterns of daily life that were disrupted by the pandemic are returning to previous trends.
However, some shifts in lifestyles remain, and some new practices are emerging. This research brief by AAA provides highlights from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2022 American Driving Survey, which quantifies the daily driving of the U.S. population in 2022 and compares results to 2021 and 2020.
- 94.5% of U.S. residents ages 16 years and older drove at least occasionally in 2022, unchanged from 2021 and 2020.
- Drivers made an average of 2.44 driving trips, spending 60.2 minutes behind the wheel, and driving 30.1 miles each day in 2022, all of which represented small but not statistically significant decreases relative to 2021.
- Projecting these results nationwide, drivers made a total of 227 billion driving trips, spent 93 billion hours driving, and drove 2.8 trillion miles in 2022.
Some of the travel patterns reported by population groups that were disrupted by the pandemic appeared to return to pre-pandemic trends:
- Similar to pre-pandemic trends, but unlike results from 2020-2021, respondents from non-metropolitan areas drove more than their metropolitan counterparts in 2022.
- Drivers aged 20–24 and 25–34 drove slightly less than drivers aged 35–49 in 2022, contrary to trends from 2020 and 2021 when drivers aged 20–34 drove more than those aged 35–49.
Other travel patterns, first observed after the onset of the pandemic, have continued:
- In 2021 and 2022, drivers who identified as Hispanic or Latino reported more driving than any other ethnic group across all measures.
- Drivers with high school education, some college, or a two-year degree reported more time spent driving than those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in both 2021 and 2022.