Has motorization in the U.S. peaked? Part 5: Update through 2012 (Michael Sivak, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2014)
Following on previous reports, this paper updates driving and fuel consumption trends through 2012. The author examines 11 trends in all, including less driving per capita, per licensed driver, per household, and total VMT. Fuel consumption has also declined, and is now lower than the rates in 1984. The main finding of the series of reports is that the respective rates all reached their maxima around 2004. The author argues that, because the onsets of the reductions in these rates preceded the onset of the recession (in 2008), the reductions in these rates likely reflect fundamental, non-economic changes in society. Therefore, these maxima have a reasonable chance of being long-term peaks as well. The present report provides a brief update on these measures through 2012.