Number of the Day: 11,000,000,000

bad traffic conditions

Image courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik via flickr

That, according to the Federal Highway Administration, is the decline in the number of miles driven by Americans since March 2007 -- at 4.3%, the sharpest yearly drop on record and the first fall in the month of March since 1979 (during a period of oil shocks).

While February 2008 actually saw a modest uptick (1 billion) in the number of miles driven over last year, cumulative vehicle miles traveled (VMT) has tumbled by 17.3 billion miles since November 2006. That said, given that the total VMT for 2006 topped 3 trillion miles, there's still a lot of room for improvement (or pain, depending on your take).As might be expected, the sharp decrease in VMT resulted in modest GHG emission reductions -- around 9 million metric tons -- for the first quarter of 2008. With gas prices expected to hit $150 per barrel in the coming months, it'll be interesting to see to what extent consumers changes their driving behavior.

Via ::Marginal Revolution: Americans Driving Less (blog)

See also: ::Number of the Day: 200, ::Public Transit Looking More Attractive in the Face of Record Gas Prices