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Are High Gas Prices No Longer Fueling Decline in American Driving?

Many folks are still making lifestyle changes to save a few bucks at the pump. Are you?

File photo.
File photo.

The following is from AAA:

Americans are less likely to change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset rising gas prices, according to a national AAA survey, primarily because this year’s prices are less expensive compared to last year. 

The survey reports only half of U.S. adults (53%) are now doing something to offset this year’s prices, which is about 15% less compared to spring 2013.

Production increases and abundant supplies have helped fuel lower gas prices this year. Industry experts are predicting the National average price of gas may not reach $3.65 per gallon this spring, which would be nearly 15 cents less than the peak in 2013 and about 30 cents less than in 2012.

Meanwhile, demand and vehicle miles traveled both increased last year according to the Federal Government. The Energy Information Administration reports 1.1% increase in demand, the largest annual increase since 2006, while the Federal Highway Administration reports a similar increase for the number of miles travelled  of an estimated 18.1 billion miles.

According to the survey, most people continue to believe gas prices are too high when prices reach $3 or higher. Here’s a breakdown:

  • 40% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3 per gallon
  • 50% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.30 per gallon
  • 65% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon
  • 91% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4 per gallon

Roughly half of Americans say they are changing driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices. Those who do so report they:

  • Combine errands or trips: 85%
  • Drive less: 84%
  • Reduce shopping or dining out: 68%
  • Delay major purchases: 52%
  • Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle: 49%
  • Put aside less money for savings: 42%
  • Work closer to home: 41%
  • Carpool: 30%
  • Use public transportation more regularly: 17%
  • Other: 15%

There’s also a potential generation gap when it comes to behavior and gas prices. The survey reported young adults between the ages 18 and 34 were more likely than older adults to offset prices by working closer to home (60% vs. 34%), carpooling (49% vs. 23%) and using public transportation more regularly (32% vs. 11%).

AAA conducted a telephone survey among two national probability samples (landline only and cell phone), consisting of a combined total of 1,011 adults (508 men and 503 women), 18 years of age and older and living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted on March 6-9. The total included 610 interviews from the landline sample and 401 interviews from the cell phone sample. This study has a 95% margin of error of ±3.7%.

Do you think the survey got it right? Share your opinion in the comments.

Fortified- I am Buzzlightyear >>>>>>>> April 13, 2014 at 02:15 AM
FRACKING: The International Energy Agency said the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's largest oil producer by 2015. FRACKING: The U.S did not sign the Kyoto protocol for reducing C02 emissions, however the U.S. Has reduced C02 emissions by more than Kyoto agreements because of fracking.
Peter Anderson April 13, 2014 at 08:30 AM
I bought an all electric car. I haven't been to a gas station since Oct. '13.
malcolm nichols April 13, 2014 at 09:01 AM
Tyler, you are not worth the time wasted. You can't really believe what you wrote..
Bob April 18, 2014 at 02:56 PM
Tyler - What is the currency used to trade oil futures? The US dollar. When it is weak we pay $100+ a barrel of oil. When it is strong, we pay @$60 a barrel. The US administration and fed have way more to do with the price of oil than you know. When they print dollars as they have for the last 5 years, the value goes down. Look at the exchange rates.

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