But even if you stop and try to make some accounting for the impact of inflation, the uncertainty in the Middle East, or the lingering policy changes following last year’s Gulf Oil spill, the fact remains that it costs a lot more now than it did a year ago (in fact, when one looks back to January 2009, prices have more than doubled).
This week, I asked readers if the (still) soaring price of gasoline has changed your driving habits.
Most were still driving the same amount; 30.5% said they were driving the same, but liking it less, while another 22.9% were driving the same, but liking it a LOT less.
That said, just 16.8% were driving less, a mere 5.3% were being driven to alternative forms of transportation, and just 2.3% had been driving to car-pooling.
Only 4.6% were being driven to drive/think of driving/buying a different kind of vehicle.
So – what about the other 30%?
Well, as you might expect, they went for “other”, which for this survey mostly seemed to be people who were driving the same amount, but trying to do it more efficiently. Here’s a sampling:
I'm not driving less on a daily basis, but we have cut out day trips to nearby places. Let's face it, higher gas prices is only going to hurt the economy more. I wish they had bus service on my end of town, I took it when I lived on the north side of town.
Driving the same, but running more errands between point A & B to avoid multiple trips "in to town"
Multi-task trips to ensure maximum driving efficiency
Driving me crazy!
I drive about the same. My Honda Civic is pretty good on gas.
Driving the same; liking it the same.
I am planning errands more carefully & am looking at changing my work schedule to create a carpool with co-workers who live close to me.
Slowing down to 65 on the highway. It seems no one else thinks this is a good idea, as they all zoom around me at 70+.
Traded an old car for a more fuel efficient one
The price of gas is a good excuse to keep my teenager riding the bus and off the roads. It costs too much to turn him loose.
Add it to the political punditry, or is it pungency, of forced choices, right between food & medicine. Let's see who gets the most mileage from it.
Now instead of jumping into the car to run across town to check out a store, I determine if other tasks can be accomplished along the way---if not, then no go; if yes, still think again if it is REALLY worth the price of gas to see/do.
Five years ago I moved. Now I rarely need to drive further than five miles for anything. I am shocked though when every three weeks or so I fill up my tank!
Driving the same but looking for ways to drive less
Better planning to avoid unnecessary driving
Watching the rate of acceleration; switching vehicles with my wife, depending on who will drive the most miles for the day
Driving the same--I don't drive that far so filling up every other week is not that bad.
Traded in my Lincoln Town Car for a Ford Hybrid and get twice the gas mileage I used to!
Purchased a Hybrid car in Fall 2009 - am very happy I did because I averaged 40 mpg on way to work today
On weekends, we use my car more because it gets better mileage.
Resenting my company's unwillingness to adopt full telecommuting as a viable work option more! Costs me almost $10 round trip each day now, and all I do is online meetings and phone calls, which could be done from home. What a waste. But what does the company care? It's not like they are giving everyone a "fuel bonus payment" in their paychecks for the money we spend to drive in.
Gas price volatility and the effects of aging on my body have driven me to try to find ways to use my car less and increase my physical activity. Therefore, for the past several years, I walk or take my bike to as many places as I can. Result: I am fitter and there are not as many miles on my vehicle. If I could do this as a teenager, why not now?
No change at all. But I've been taking public transit to work for many years.
Driving the same, I still have to go to work. The gas prices still are not enough of an incentive for my boss to allow me to telecommute.
No change, yet. I didn't drive much to begin with.
I now have increased road rage toward those who think they are conserving gas by driving extra slow: you are the ones who cause all the stop-and-go traffic, which wastes everyone else's gas/money/time. Move.
Keeping the hybrid car that I intended to trade-in last summer.
I bought a fuel-efficient car in 2004. I wish it cost less to operate, but I'm better off than most.
I now accelerate more slowly and drive more conservatively. And of course, drive as little as possible!
Driving more and not caring about the cost - it's not that expensive in the scheme of things
Change jobs to a 4 min commute or a 30 min walk
I won't change my driving habits or outlook until it hits $5.00/gallon. I just factor it in as the cost of the freedom and independence I get with driving a car.
No change in driving, but wondering how much gas is wasted when there is a traffic jam.
We don't drive much to begin with (4 miles to work for me, my husband is retired). When I retire, we'll move to an area where everything essential is within walking distance.
I'm driving a little less, with a little car-pooling, and hating it every time I see a gas station (Or getting unduly excited when I see one that is 5 or 6 cents cheaper per gallon.)
Not sure what makes the recent uptick more alarming for you. My driving has been limited for some time. Spending energy being unhappy about the times I need to leave the house is unproductive. I wonder why horse and buggy rides aren't making a comeback - no production lag time and wholly renewable.
I have been carpooling and taking public transportation since 1997. So my driving habits have not changed.
Public Transportation. It's cheaper..but considerably less convenient!
Driving the same and enjoying it the same. really, you cannot get up in arms every time gas prices fluctuate. I can't control it, I need to get from point A to point B, so why invest emotional energy in railing against it?
Would love to buy a small used hybrid SUV - if they weren’t so outrageously priced and in small supply.
But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said they were “…being driven to drink! It's not cheaper by the gallon, but it sure is more fun!”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!