Study Finds Drivers Changing Habits to Combat High Gas Prices

From driving less to postponing major purchases, U.S. drivers are doing anything they can to combat high gas prices.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. drivers have adjusted their driving habits since March to combat soaring gas prices, according to a recent survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA). Those surveyed reported driving less, combining errands and reducing shopping or dining out.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported driving less. Many also said they were more likely to cancel or postpone travel or delay major purchases because of increased fuel prices.

According to the release, AAA interviewed 1,002 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. Twenty-three percent classified their driving or lifestyle changes as “major.”

AAA also offered advice to increase fuel efficiency, like keeping tires fully inflated and only purchasing premium gas for vehicles that recommend or require it. Several gas tracking apps and websites can help you find the lowest gas prices in your area.

On August 1, the national average for gas in the U.S. was at $4.189, up from $3.176 at the same time last year. The national average has fallen since it peaked on June 14, when regular unleaded cost $5.016 a gallon, according to AAA.

California tops the list of individual states with an average price of $5.588 for regular. Hawaii ($5.438), Alaska ($5.075), Nevada ($5.061) and Oregon ($5.047) rounded out the top five. Conversely, gas cost the least in Texas ($3.691), followed by South Carolina ($3.714), Georgia ($3.741), Arkansas ($3.752) and Tennessee ($3.758).

Inflation’s impact on consumer spending also extends to home improvement. Material and, fuel costs, loan rates and contractor availability have changed dramatically in the past two years due to increased demand and labor/supply shortages. The domino effect contributed to new home construction slowing, higher mortgage interest rates and surging home sale cancellation rates.

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Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.