People driving more than ever
|From Calculated Risk|
...the basics seem simple: the economy has finally been growing and gasoline prices have been low. That's enough to get us all back in our cars.
So was it ever the case that American young 'uns fell out of love with the automobile, which partly explained why miles traveled dipped so dramatically during the recession? That's a favored explanation among urban pundits, where Zipcars and Uber are popular and lots of people don't bother owning cars. But I've always doubted it. It really does seem to be true that teenagers simply don't care about learning to drive as much as teenagers of my generation, but for the most part that just means they learn to drive a little later. And if they live in the burbs, they need to drive, same as always. They couldn't afford it while they were living in mom's basement during the recession, but they can now, and that's why car sales are up and miles driven are up.
We still love our cars, and now we can afford to use them. That will probably continue to be true until gas goes up to five bucks a gallon again...