By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

American motorists drove 242.3 billion vehicle miles in January 2017, a 2.2 percent, or 5.2 billion mile increase over January 2016, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The tally, however, showed a seasonal slip from December 2016’s 260 billion mile total.

Total vehicle miles traveled in 2016 hit a record high of more than 3.2 trillion, a fifth straight year of increased mileage on the nation’s roads, FHWA said last month.

FHWA’s monthly Traffic Volume Trends report is based on state data collected from more than 5,000 continuous traffic counting stations nationwide.