MORE MOTORISTS ON THE ROAD: The US government reports that motorists hit a new record in 2015 - driving 5 trillion kilometres. Image: iStock
Washington, USA - The government says driving in the U.S. hit a new record in 2015 of 3.1 trillion miles (5 trillion kilometres).
The previous record was 4.8 trillion kilometres set in 2007, before the recession led to a sharp reduction in driving.
For a sense of scale, 5 trillion kilometres is roughly the same distance as 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto.
Traffic deaths on the rise
The National Safety Council recently estimated the number of traffic deaths in the United States rose 8% from 2014 to 2015, the largest year-to-year percentage increase in a half-century.
The Department of Transportation predicted in a report last year that the expected population growth of 70 million people by 2045 will lead to increased gridlock in many parts of the country.
Commercial truck shipments are projected to increase 43%.