Two-Thirds of Americans Changing Routines Due to High Gas Prices

Two-Thirds of Americans Changing Routines Due to High Gas Prices

62 percent of those polled will use their vehicle just for necessities.

The pain at the pump continues as prices are once again heading toward record highs.

According to AAA data, the national average for regular gas climbed to $4.328 per gallon on Monday, which is less than a penny off the all-time high of $4.331 set in mid-March. As reported by CNN Business, gas prices have risen $0.13 over the past week alone.

Meanwhile, the national average for diesel hit another record of $5.54 a gallon, up $0.22 in a week and $0.49 in a month, per AAA. It is against this concerning backdrop in which about two-thirds of Americans now admit that they will make “significant” habit changes to their driving patterns if the national average cost of gas stays between $4.12 and $4.35 per gallon, according to a Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey of nearly 1,400 U.S. drivers conducted from April 29 to May 1.

Furthermore, per Yahoo Finance, the remaining group of respondents, or 34 percent, say that they will not likely change their car-use habits until the price reaches roughly $5 per gallon.

The poll’s other findings include: 62 percent will use their vehicle just for necessities, such as grocery shopping and doctor visits; 41 percent will not fill the gas tank up but just put in what is affordable; 35 percent will take public transit more; 34 percent will drive to different gas stations to find the best price; and 29 percent will be canceling a planned summer holiday vacation via their vehicle.

A separate AAA survey has revealed that eighteen- to thirty-four-year-olds are almost three times as likely as those thirty-five and over to consider carpooling (29 percent vs. 11 percent) due to high gas prices. In addition, those aged thirty-five and over are more likely to favor combining trips and errands (68 percent vs. 52 percent) and to reduce shopping or dining out (53 percent vs. 43 percent).

According to Yardeni Research, the rising costs for gas and food could potentially amount to “$3,000 less money” for the average American household. “Gasoline now costs the average household almost $2,000. … We estimate that the average household is currently spending at least $1,000 (according to a seasonally adjusted annual rate) more on food as a result of rapidly rising grocery prices,” Edward Yardeni, the president of the firm, wrote in a social media post. “That’s $3,000 less money that households have to spend on other consumer goods and services, which also are experiencing rapid price increases,” he added.

There’s also bad news for those waiting patiently to see gas prices trend lower again. Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, told CNN that he expects prices will head higher by another $0.18 to $0.20 over the next ten to fourteen days—eventually hitting a new all-time record of $4.50 a gallon.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters