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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • High Gas Prices No Longer Fueling a Decline in Driving

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  • Americans have grown significantly less likely to change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices, according to a new survey by AAA. Only half of U.S. adults are doing something to offset gas prices, which is about 15 percent less than in spring 2013. This development comes as gas prices continue to be relatively less expensive compared to previous years.
    Gas prices generally have remained less expensive than in previous years due to increased production and supplies. The national average price of gas may not even 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 (FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com)
    “People may be less likely to change their habits, but they don’t seem any happier at the pumps,” said Chuck Mai, AAA Oklahoma. “Many of us realize that paying more than $3.00 per gallon for gasoline is the new normal, but I’m not saying we’re not still frustrated with the price.”
    The AAA telephone survey of 1,011 Americans shows that most people continue to believe that gas prices are too high. These results are similar to a year ago. According to the survey:
    • 40 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.00 per gallon
    • 50 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.30 per gallon
    • 65 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon
    • 91 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4.00 per gallon
    Roughly half of those surveyed say they are changing their driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices. Those doing so report:
    • Combining errands or trips: 85 percent
    • Driving less: 84 percent
    • Reducing shopping or dining out: 68 percent
    • Delaying major purchases: 52 percent
    • Driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle: 49 percent
    • Putting aside less money for savings: 42 percent
    • Working closer to home: 41 percent
    • Carpooling: 30 percent
    • Using public transportation more regularly: 17 percent
    • Other: 15 percent
    Adults ages 18-34 were significantly more likely to offset prices than older adults by working closer to home (60 percent vs. 34 percent), carpooling (49 percent vs. 23 percent) and using public transportation more regularly (32 percent vs. 11 percent). These results show a potential generation gap regarding gas prices and behavior.

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