It’s hard to miss the effects of rising gas prices all around us. Coupled with the accompanying spike in food costs and the threat of a general economic recession, the national belt-tightening is evident. Miles driven have plummeted along with car sales while mass transit ridership and bike use continue to flourish.
A recent study by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Access America Travel Insurance and Assistance has quantified the shift. 67% of those surveyed have already adjusted their driving habits because of gas prices.
$3.20 is the median price where respondents said they would alter their driving. At $3, 35% said they had already made changes; at $4, 74% foresee an alteration; and at $5, 85% anticipate making concessions.
Hits to the pocketbook seem to be the key to driving change. It’s not easy to root for difficult economic conditions – but we at Carectomy like some of the results. In January we asked the question whether $4 per gallon could be a good thing, and the repercussions are already far-reaching.
Many economic and industry experts predict that, unlike during the oil embargo of the 70’s, the cultural transformations happening now – from shrinking suburban sprawl to the ditching of SUVs in favor of smaller, fuel economical vehicles – are here to stay. Time will tell, but is this latest economic shake-up, coupled with increased environmental awareness, finally jarring us out of complacency?
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- Mainstream Media Covers Gas Crisis, Mass Transit Spike, and Changing World