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.

Kentucky Bracing for Major Winter Storm

Kentucky Bracing for Major Winter Storm

Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) is bracing for a major winter storm, which is approaching the Commonwealth. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Kentucky as the weather event approaches the Commonwealth.

“Over the next 48 hours, a major winter storm is expected to impact many regions of Kentucky— potentially causing ice-related damage, service interruption and impassable roadways,” said Governor Bevin. “Our agencies are monitoring the conditions and coordinating communications with local officials and emergency personnel in preparation. Safety is our first priority; so it is very important to restrict travel to a minimum.”

Snow amounts have been forecast up to 18 plus inches east of Interstate 65 with six inches along the Ohio River corridor, to up to 14 inches in the central Bluegrass Region. Ice will be a concern in the southern regions of central Kentucky, which may cause power outages.

Officials warn this storm could disrupt services so citizens should be prepared! The best advice is to just stay home and avoid travel, but if you must travel allow extra time, take it slow and allow plenty of space between vehicles.

KYEM officials encourage everyone to remain alert and continue to monitor their local broadcasting stations and NOAA weather alert radios and to check on neighbors, the elderly and those with special needs.


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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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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.


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AAA Says 46.9 Million Americans Traveling for Thanksgiving Holiday 2015

AAA Says 46.9 Million Americans Traveling for Thanksgiving Holiday 2015

AAA Travel forecasts 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 0.6 percent increase over the 46.6 million people who traveled last year and the most since 2007. With 300,000 additional holiday travelers, this marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for Thanksgiving travel. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Sunday, November 29.

“This Thanksgiving, more Americans will carve out time to visit friends and family since 2007,” said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. “While many people remain cautious about the economy and their finances, many thankful Americans continue to put a premium on traveling to spend the holiday with loved ones.”

Despite improvements in the economy, including steady wage growth, rising disposable income and a falling unemployment rate, consumers remain cautious about their finances. However, gas prices remain well below 2014 levels, providing an early holiday bonus to the more than 89 percent of holiday travelers who will drive to their destinations.

“One holiday gift has come early this year. Americans will likely pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Lower prices are helping boost disposable income, and enabling families to kick off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway,” continued Doney.

Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving

Nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 0.1 percent, with 3.6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease 1.4 percent this Thanksgiving, to 1.4 million travelers.

Lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in seven years expected

Drivers nationwide continue to experience significant yearly savings in the price of gas and AAA estimates that consumers are saving nearly $265 million on gasoline every day compared to a year ago. This has helped boost disposable income, enabling many Americans to travel this Thanksgiving. Most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.15, 65 cents less than the average price on Thanksgiving last year ($2.80).


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