Federal Highway Administration reveals Americans drove a record 3.148 trillion miles in 2015.

The impressive number comes as a logical consequence of a major boost in car sales which last year grew by 5.7% to 17.5 million vehicles compared to 2014. Latest data indicates there are around 260 million registered vehicles on the roads of United States, but the high figure isn’t only due to an increase in new car sales.

According to Detroit-based tracking firm Polk, another reason why the roads are packed with cars is because owners decide to keep them more than ever, with the nationwide average standing at about 11.5 years. Moreover, historically low gas prices are also playing an important role, with pump prices dropping below the $2 per gallon at the beginning of the year.

With more cars on the road, it shouldn’t come as a surprise the number of licensed drivers has increased as well, from 163 million back in 1988 to around 210 million at the start of the decade. That being said, the trend is not as strong as it used to be according to University of Michigan Transportation Research. A study has revealed Millennials are getting their licenses at a considerably slower pace compared to their parents and grandparents.

There are some major concerns in terms of casualties and deaths on U.S. roads after a study released National Highway Traffic Safety revealed the number of deaths increased by 8% in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the previous year. In 2014, there were a little over 32,000 deaths on U.S roads, representing a major 40% decrease compared to the 1970s when the rate of casualties reached record levels.

The recent surge in fatalities on the roads of United States is partially due to the increasing number of miles driven, according to experts. With substantially more cars on the roads and people racking up more miles than ever, these two factors are contributing to a hike in injuries and fatalities on the U.S. roads.

Source: thedetroitbureau.com