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Wisconsin drivers hitting road in bigger numbers, make longer trips

Highway travel
Highway travel

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - More folks have been hitting the road in Wisconsin. 

The DOT said Tuesday that motorists drove over 59 billion miles in the Badger State last year. That's up by just over 0.9 percent from 2011. 

The average Wisconsinite went 10,337 miles on the state's highways and streets last year -- 0.7 percent more than the previous year. 

Officials credit the increase to an improved economy, with more commercial vehicles delivering goods. An increase in the state's population was also mentioned as a factor. 

Dry weather certainly helped folks venture out. Spring virtually sprung in February.  After some unexpected late snows in April and May, Wisconsin went through one of its hottest and driest periods in decades. 

According to the DOT, the Badger State has about 113,000 miles of roads. Federal, state, and Interstate highways make up just over a tenth of the total network -- but they carry 60 percent of the traffic. 

Wisconsin has around 4 million licensed drivers and about 5.5 million registered vehicles.