A new study from the University of Michigan suggests that Americans who drive light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVS, pick-up trucks, and vans) don't drive as far as they used to.
The study, from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (MTRI), was published this month, and looks at national driving trends from 1984-2011.
According to MTRI's findings, the distance people drove peaked in 2004. Distances were evaluated based on how much a person, a licensed driver, a household and a registered vehicle traveled.
The major takeaway from the study is that because distances decreased before the 2008 recession, the lower numbers weren't a result of a short-term issue. Essentially, the lower distances driven seem to be a part of a longer term trend.