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Most of us don’t think about how much time we spend in our cars on a daily basis — though we don’t hesitate to hop behind the wheel whenever we need to get to work, hang out with friends or pick up some groceries from the store. How much time do we really spend in our cars?
Measuring a Year in the United States
There are 8,760 hours in a standard calendar year — not counting leap years which bring that number up to 8,784 with the one extra day in February. What could you do with more than 8,000 hours? Learn a new skill? Get a college degree?
Well, whatever you’re planning to do with your next 8,760 hours, make sure you subtract 293 hours because that’s how long the average American spends driving every year.
All told, Americans drove more than 2.45 trillion miles collectively in 2014. Men tend to drive more than women. Adults 30 to 49 drive two to three times more than any other age group in the country, traveling more than 13,000 miles a year.
Where Are You Driving?
However, more than 60 percent of those trips are taken alone — men are more likely to travel alone than women. Much of this driving is done during the work week as people commute to and from work, but that doesn’t exclude the possibility of road trips.
People who live in rural areas travel much further during the year than those that live in urban areas, due to the distance between necessities in undeveloped areas.
If you start driving at 17 and drive until you’re nearly 79 years old, you’ll spend more than 37,000 hours driving your car throughout your life — and that doesn’t even include all the miles that you might spend traveling thousands of miles in the air.
The average driver will travel so far in their lifetimes that they could drive to the moon and back — three times!
Measuring a Year in the United Kingdom
The U.S. isn’t the only place where people spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
On average, a driver in the U.K. will travel more than 6,500 miles every year — that’s 10,460 kilometers for our readers across the pond.
It’s also estimated that U.K. drivers will sing in their car more than 4,000 times a year, check their smartphone more than 1,000 times and fight with their spouses or partners nearly 3,000 times while behind the wheel.
It’s not all bad though — more than 650 kisses will happen behind the wheel, and nearly 1,000 road trips to visit family, friends or attractions around the country.
Have a Good Time
We probably spend more time in our cars than we should — even sitting in a car can be dangerous if we do it too much — but having a functional car is an invaluable tool in today’s world. We may not be able to avoid spending a good portion of our lives in our car, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy ourselves every time we get behind the wheel.
Play some good music, leave your cell phone in your pocket or purse and get to driving.