3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.

The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.

At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.

Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day 2015

Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day 2015

Not all of us will be home for Christmas, or comfortably seated with friends and family for a Christmas feast… some of us will be on the road.

Highway travelers looking for a holiday meal can find it quite difficult. You’re tired and hungry so you jump of an exit only to find that every restaurant is closed.

An increasing number of chain restaurants are choosing to remain open during the holidays, or at least opening for limited hours to meet customer demand.

Here’s out list of chain restaurants open for business on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2015. (This listing will be updated as additional information becomes available.)

Restaurants located at Interstate Service Plazas and Welcome Centers may be required to stay open.

– Updated 12/18/15  –

  • 99 Restaurants – Open Christmas Eve Day. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Arby’s – Company owned locations will close Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Franchise locations may be open.
  • Bakers Square – Open Christmas Eve day. Open Christmas Day.
  • Bonanza Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve Day. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Bonefish Grill – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Boston Market – Some locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant – Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Most locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Burger King – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Cheesecake Factory – Most locations will be closed Christmas Day.
  • Chick-fil-A – Open Christmas Eve Day and Closed Christmas Day
  • Chili’s Grill & Bar – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Corner Bakery Cafe – Open Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.
  • Country Buffet – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.
  • Cracker Barrel – Close Christmas Eve Day at 2 pm and closed on Christmas Day.
  • Del Taco – Open Christmas Eve day. Most locations will be open Christmas Day.
  • Denny’s – Open Christmas Day.
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – Open Christmas Eve Day. Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Domino’s Pizza – Open Christmas Eve. Some locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – Most locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • El Torito – Most locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Fire Mountain Buffet – Open Christmas Eve Day. Most locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Friendly’s – Open Christmas Eve Day and Closed Christmas Day.
  • Golden Corral – Most locations will be open on Christmas Day
  • Ground Round Grill & Bar – Some locations will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • HomeTown Buffet – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and open Christmas Day.
  • Hooters – Some locations will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • IHOP – Most locations will be open Christmas Day.
  • Jack-in-the-Box – Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Legal Sea Foods – Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Logan’s Roadhouse – Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Longhorn Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve Day. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Lone Star Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Luby’s – Most locations will be open Christmas Day.
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • McDonald’s – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.
  • Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Old Country Buffet – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and open Christmas Day.
  • Olive Garden – Open Christmas Eve Day and closed Christmas Day.
  • Outback Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
  • Panda Express – Many locations will be open on Christmas Day.
  • Pie Five Pizza Company – Open Christmas Eve Day and closed Christmas Day.
  • Pizza Hut – Most locations will be closed on Christmas Day.
  • Ponderosa Steakhouse – Open Christmas Eve Day and closed Christmas Day.
  • Red Lobster – Closed on Christmas Day.
  • Ruby Tuesday – Open Christmas Eve and some locations will be open Christmas Day.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Open Christmas Day.
  • Ryan’s – Most locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and open Christmas Day.
  • Schlotzsky’s Deli – Most locations will be open on Christmas Eve.
  • Shoney’s – Open Christmas Day.
  • Sizzler – Some locations will be open Christmas Day.
  • Sonic – Some locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.
  • Starbucks – Open Christmas Day.
  • Steak ‘n Shake – Open Christmas Day.
  • Subway – Some locations will be open Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.
  • Taco Bell – Company owned locations are closed on Christmas Day. Franchised locations may be open.
  • Texas Land & Cattle Restaurant – Open Christmas Eve Day and closed Christmas Day.
  • TGI Friday’s – Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Waffle House – Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Wendy’s – Most locations will be closed on Christmas Day.

 

This list reflects information gathered from various sources. We are not responsible for it’s accuracy. This list will be updated as additional information becomes available. Open locations may have limited hours of operation.


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Arizona DOT: With Winter Storms Arriving, Drivers Should Prepare for Rain, Snow, Dust

Arizona DOT: With Winter Storms Arriving, Drivers Should Prepare for Rain, Snow, Dust

Winter’s worst is still ahead as the El Niño weather pattern promises above-normal precipitation, but with storm systems heading into Arizona starting this weekend, travelers should prepare for rain, snow, strong winds and the potential for blowing dust.

As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service was calling for locally strong winds reaching up to 55 mph across eastern Arizona, followed by colder temperatures and scattered rain and snow continuing into Saturday. Between 2 and 5 inches of snow was expected in the White Mountains, eastern Mogollon Rim and northern Gila County, with higher totals possible.

A second, colder storm system was forecast to pass through next week, creating the potential for 1 to 4 inches of snow in higher elevations.

With public safety its top priority during winter storms, the Arizona Department of Transportation deploys resources quickly before, during and after to keep highways safe for travelers, limit highway closures and clear snow and ice as soon as possible. ADOT’s 200 snowplows are serviced and ready, and 450 snowplow operators are trained and on alert.

Because of Arizona’s diverse climate, travelers can drive from sunny and moderate conditions in the low desert to ice and snow in the mountains in just a couple of hours. They should leave prepared to drive in snowy and icy conditions.

With that in mind, ADOT offers these tips:

  • Slow down, be patient and drive safely. Plan for extra travel time. Use extra caution if snowplows are on the road.
  • Wear warm clothing.
  • Be aware that ice forms on bridges first and is hard to see.
  • When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least four car lengths. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are.
  • Never pass a snowplow that’s clearing snow and ice off the road.
  • Make sure your tank is at least three-quarters full.
  • Notify someone of your route, destination and expected arrival time.
  • Pack an emergency preparedness kit that includes blankets, extra clothes, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, a fully charged cellphone and hazard warning lights or reflectors.
  • Brake slowly to avoid panic braking or jerking the steering wheel.
  • Increase the distance between you and traffic ahead.
  • Carry plenty of food and water, as well as any medications you need.
  • Carry tire chains and snow cables, or use snow tires.

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Arizona I-10 Rest Areas Closed for Upgrades

Arizona I-10 Rest Areas Closed for Upgrades

The Arizona Department of Transportation has announces that the Interstate 10 rest areas at Texas Canyon in southeastern Arizona are closed for renovations, and will reopen in approximately six months.

The rest areas, serving both directions of I-10 between Benson and Willcox at milepost 320, will see renovations to restrooms, water systems and ramadas. They will be repaved as well.

Motorists can use facilities in Willcox and Benson, as well as at the Johnson Road traffic interchange at the east end of Texas Canyon (Exit 322).

The nearest ADOT rest area, located at San Simon approximately 66 miles east of Texas Canyon near the New Mexico state line, will be closed for renovations until January 2016.

The Texas Canyon rest areas are scheduled to reopen in May 2016.


For more I-10 information, visit www.i10exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 10. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from California to Florida!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-4 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide , and I-95 Exit Guide.

Americans Drive a Combined Average of 25 Billion Miles During the Holiday Season

Americans Drive a Combined Average of 25 Billion Miles During the Holiday Season

Winter weather is here – just in time for many Americans to embark on holiday road trips. According to an online survey commissioned by Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) and fielded by Harris Poll in October 2015,* Americans log a combined national average of 25 billion miles on the road to visit family and spend a combined average of $52 billion on travel during the holiday season.** Although many will be taking holiday road trips, only a quarter (26 percent) of drivers in Snowbelt states already have installed or plan to install winter tires this year.

“Many Americans are traveling for the holidays, but most haven’t fully prepared their vehicles to take on challenging winter driving conditions,” said Chris Welty, Bridgestone tire education specialist. “Winter tires are built specially to give drivers better grip, stopping power and more control in snow, slush and ice. The thin layer of water on the road from ice or melting snow can be very dangerous, and winter tires are designed to clear that icy water and grip the road.”

Although they’re planning to drive 147 miles on average to different family members’ homes this holiday season, many Americans are troubled by the freezing temperatures and treacherous driving conditions that accompany the start of winter. Seventy-one percent of drivers admit they are nervous to drive when it’s icy, and many also are nervous to drive during heavy fog (52 percent), heavy rain (48 percent), sleet (47 percent) and snow (45 percent). In fact, when Americans were asked what they dislike in general about the winter season, driving issues topped the list, specifically icy roads (59 percent) and other drivers who drive dangerously (55 percent). Other major dislikes include heating bills (47 percent), removing snow and ice from their vehicle (43 percent), and even cold feet (38 percent).

“It’s clear from our survey findings that Americans are worried about driving in winter weather,” said Welty. “Making the switch to winter tires can help ensure that drivers feel confident in every winter driving condition – whether they are headed to Grandma’s house this holiday or sticking closer to home. The holiday season can be stressful, but hitting the road in winter weather doesn’t have to be.”

To make sure their vehicles are road trip ready, most of those who currently own a vehicle (74 percent) prepare for winter by checking tire pressure (48 percent), windshield wipers (46 percent) or fluid levels (45 percent). When it comes to preparing a vehicle for winter weather, Bridgestone encourages drivers to remember the four B’s – battery, brakes, blades and Blizzak winter tires.

For information about Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires or to find a Bridgestone retailer, visit www.ConquertheCold.com.


On the road for the holidays? Why not take us with you. Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!