https://www.theepochtimes.com/american-motorists-changing-driving-lifestyle-habits-to-offset-soaring-gas-prices-survey_4624848.html

Increasingly high gas prices have led Americans to change their driving habits in an effort to offset pain at the pump, according to a new survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The survey was conducted among more than 1,002 adults in the United States between June 23–27.

It found that almost two-thirds, or 64 percent, of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March, with 23 percent making “major changes.”

The top three changes made among drivers to offset soaring gas prices include driving less, combining errands, and reducing shopping or dining out.

Overall, 83 percent of the motorists surveyed have been driving less, while 74 percent have been combining errands, and 56 percent have reduced shopping trips or dining out, according to the data from AAA.

The margin of error for the study overall is 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Volatile gas prices haven’t only affected the way in which Americans drive across the country but also their future travel plans, according to the survey, which showed that 29 percent of motorists have also had to postpone vacations this year.

Another 24 percent said high gas prices have changed the way they put aside money for savings.

The survey comes as gas prices currently stand at a national average of $4.302 per gallon as of July 27, up from $3.158 this time last year but down from the record high price of $5.016 per gallon on June 14, according to AAA.

A customer pumps gas into their car at a gas station in Petaluma, Calif., on May 18, 2022.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Pump Prices Driven Down

Prices at the pump have been steadily declining over the last few weeks, driven by a decline in domestic demand for gas and lower oil prices.

“Consumers appear to be taking the pressure off their wallets by fueling up less,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson on Monday. “And there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic that pump prices will continue to fall, particularly if the global price for oil does not spike. But the overall situation remains very volatile.”

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that gas demand rose from 8.06 million b/d to 8.52 million b/d last week. However, that rate is still 800,000 b/d lower than in 2021 and is on par with the demand seen during the middle of July 2020, when restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly curbed demand.

Additionally, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 3.5 million bbl to 228.4 million bbl, last week, suggesting that downward pressure on demand had boosted inventories.

“If gas demand remains low as stocks increase, alongside a continuing reduction in crude prices, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices decline,” AAA said.

The Biden administration says it has been “working really hard” to bring gasoline prices down.

“In fact, gas prices have fallen every day this summer for 38 days in a row,” President Joe Biden, who is currently recovering from COVID-19, said in a July 22 economic briefing on lowering gas prices.

“Now, you know, you can find gas for $3.99 or less in more than 30,000 gas stations in more than 35 states. In some cities, it’s down almost a dollar from last month. We’ve been working really hard to bring the price down,” Biden said.

However, AAA has also warned that falling prices may be short-lived, stating earlier this month that demand for gas could increase from July as more Americans hit the road for the typically busy summer season.

Meanwhile, energy analysts warned in June that gas prices could reach “apocalyptic” levels if a hurricane or a tropical storm were to hit or damage refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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