High gas prices change driving habits

A bit of positive news on the gas guzzling front, according to the recent INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Special Report.

96% of the top 100 USA population markets saw an appreciable drop in traffic congestion levels during the first half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007 with a 3% average decrease across the nation during peak hour travel times.

66% of the 2000+ consumers surveyed also made alterations to their driving habits due to higher gas prices.

Of those that did:

– 69% made fewer trips
– 34% took shorter car trips
– 9% engaged in car pooling
– 8% traveled by bike or scooter
– 7% used public transport

Females who participated in the survey were more likely than males to decrease their amount of driving as a result of higher gas prices (69% vs. 63%)

Overall, 55% of respondents stated they were willing to reduce the frequency or distance of vacations by car if the price of gase increased to $4.50 per gallon or over.

It’s a positive turn of events environmentally speaking, just a bit of a shame is that apparently a slug on the wallet is what it takes to get people to reduce driving – environmental concerns still really aren’t on most folks’ radar or high up on their list of priorities.

A few commentators have stated that the period of time that gas was at such a high price likely isn’t enough to have a lasting positive impact on driving habits; i.e. now that gas prices have dropped quite substantially people will return to their old ways.

Some are suggesting that the only way to combat fuel consumption is to set a minimum price on gas at a relatively high level, and use the profits to invest in or further subsidise more economical cars, hybrid vehicles and public transportation infrastructure.

Read more of the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Special Report


Simple gas saving tips