A new AAA survey finds Americans spend almost 18,000 minutes a year holding onto a steering wheel. And in New Jersey traffic, that number is probably higher.

The survey was done for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It shows Americans driving an average of almost 300 hours a year.

On average, men drive at least 2,300 more miles than women, spending 18 percent more time behind the wheel.

The survey finds 86 percent of U.S. households have at least one car; 28 percent have more cars than drivers.

Not surprisingly, seniors over age 75 drive fewer miles. But drivers between the ages of 30 and 49 drive the most — 13,506 miles on average.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Tracy Noble says all of that driving is the equivalent of "seven 40-hour workweeks, but in New Jersey we can expect more."

She says we know that with traffic in New Jersey, people are spending even more time than that behind the wheel.

"It is just an added variable that we have in our very, very packed lives right now."

What are we driving? The survey shows cars are the preferred vehicle, followed by SUVs at 20 percent, 17 percent for pickups and 5 percent are driving minivans.

And despite carpooling pushes, better than 6 in 10 driving trips are without a passenger.

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