This paper is concerned with the analysis of commuting distances. The development of commuting distances has become a subject of political concern because of the large flows of traffic involved which are concentrated in a few hours each day and cause considerable congestion problems as well as environmental damage. The economic theory of search will be proposed as a theoretical background which motivates the modelling of commuting distance distributions. For the empirical analysis, a sub-sample is used of respondents of the Housing Demand Survey of 1985, approached again in 1988. Commuting distances are discussed in relation to household characteristics such as the number of persons, the presence of a spouse or partner and her/his employment status. The apparent rapid increase in commuting distances is due in large part to changes in the employment situation. People who change job will often commute over a longer distance after the change occurs. Changes in housing situation are more or less neutral in their effect on the average commuting distances.