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What is the Average Vehicle Occupancy in the US?

Average vehicle occupancy in the United States has dropped by about half a person since 1970. The average vehicle occupancy in 1970 was about 2.2 people, but by 2010, it had dropped to about 1.7 people per car. In practical terms, this means that more people are driving cars alone, making driving less energy-efficient and worse for the environment.

More facts about driving:

  • People tend to carpool the most when going to church, school and social events. The activity with the lowest vehicle occupancy is commuting to work.

  • The average vehicle occupancy for cars and SUVs is about the same. Vans have the highest average vehicle occupancy — about 2.3 people per van — and trucks other than pickup trucks have the lowest average vehicle occupancy of just slightly more than one person per truck.

  • In the U.S., there are more cars than there are licensed drivers.

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