Just in time for the busy summer travel season comes a new report with numbers that are truly out of this world, detailing just how far Americans go to reach their intended destinations.
Through the first quarter of 2016, motorists coursed over 746 billion miles of roadway, according to recent statistics documented by the Federal Highway Administration. That's nearly 287 times farther than the International Space Station has traveled in the 18 years that it's been floating high above the Earth's surface.
March stood out as a particularly fruitful month for highway travel, as the nation's road warriors logged a monthly record of 268 billion miles on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
Travel up in all regions
Interestingly, some parts of the country were more road-obsessed others, "marching" their way through the 31-day stretch. Northeasterners, which includes the six states that comprise New England and the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York – traveled 6.4% more than they did during the same period last year on an unadjusted basis. The same goes for the other regions of the country, all seeing an uptick in unadjusted vehicle miles traveled year over year and month over month, the government report said
With gas prices averaging less than $2.50 nationwide, not to mention historically low financing rates to purchase a vehicle, 2016 is poised to outperform 2015 in miles drivers rack up. Between January and the end of November 2015, Americans put nearly 2.9 trillion miles on their odometers, according to the FHWA, more than any other year in recorded history.
From Memorial Day all the way to Labor Day, the summertime is most definitely a season for highway travel and new-car experiences. It's the feel of warm summer breezes that fuel sports car desires, as these sleek and stylish automobiles are always hot commodities when the temperatures ramp up and traveling is on the mind. Not only are they sweet to drive, but several are on their way to being officially designated as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Coming closest to receiving the highly coveted designation was the 2016 Ford Mustang, which ranked "good" in every category except for overlap front in vehicle crash testing.
"The Mustang is just one good rating away from earning Top Safety Pick," said Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "Its small overlap rating holds it back."
Other sports cars on the cusp of IIHS' Top Safety Pick recognition are the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.
Mustang is best-selling sports coupe in the world
There's no denying Americans' – not to mention motorists from other parts of the world – love of sports cars. In the first year that it's become available in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, the Ford Mustang is now the globe's best-selling sports coupe, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker announced in April.
Erich Merkle, sales analyst for the Ford Motor Co., noted how in 2015, the Mustang was the only sports coupe in the world that reached six-digit sales figures.