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US Motorists Drive More for the First Time in 15 Months

Posted on 24 Apr 2009

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The Federal Highway Administration said that motorists in the U.S. increased their average daily driving in February for the first time in at least 15 months.

Daily mileage rose by 2.7 percent, and for the month, travel fell by 1.9 billion miles, or 0.9 percent, to 215.8 billion from February 2008. The year-earlier period had one extra day because it was a leap year.

The increase bucks a stretch of declines brought on by gasoline prices that climbed to a record in July and a slowing economy that pinched leisure travel and commuting. While fuel costs have fallen, it’s too early to say whether daily driving will continue rising, said Doug Hecox, a Federal Highway Administration spokesman.

The average U.S. price for a gallon of gasoline in February was $1.92, according to AAA, the country’s largest motorist group. That was a 53 percent drop from the $4.11 record high in July.