How People Are Offsetting High Gas Prices

As gasoline prices continue to set record highs with each passing day – now nearing a nation-wide average of $4 per gallon, up nearly 30% in 2008 – more and more Americans are beginning to see a significant hit to their budget’s bottom line.

With little relief (if any) in sight, many Americans have started to make adjustments to help ease the sting of high fuel costs. Many drivers have made minor adjustments that have caused minimal lifestyle changes – such as reducing highway speeds – while others have had to make much more significant and life altering changes – such as take a job closer to home.

In order to gauge how most Americans are coping with higher gasoline prices, I recently included a poll on Daily Fuel Economy Tip which, very simply, asked the following: “What is the biggest thing you have done to try and combat high gas prices?” Here’s how nearly 200 people responded:

  • 33% stated they are driving less and/or using mass transportation more
  • 25% stated they are working harder to maximize their current vehicle’s fuel economy
  • 13% stated they’ve done nothing
  • 12% stated they’ve bought a car that has better fuel economy
  • 9% stated they’ve moved closer to work or taken a job closer to home
  • 8% stated they’ve done something not mentioned in the poll’s list

Based on the above results, nearly 9 out of 10 people have attempted something in order to try and offset record high gasoline prices.

In the end, hopefully there will be some good to come out of $4 (or $5, $6, etc.) gasoline.

Whether it forces us to reduce our driving, shift towards smaller cars with better fuel economy, force the Federal, state and local governments to offer better public transportation, etc., it’s clear that expensive gas is going to force significant changes throughout America.

While it may hurt (a lot) now, in the end chances are pretty good we’ll be better off in the long haul.


  1. If our local public transportation would easily take me where I needed to go, I’d probably consider it. We’ve just made personal budget adjustments to the rising cost.

  2. I’ve been experimenting for over 2 1/2 years with driving methods to minimize fuel consumption, with decent success – I’m about 31% above the EPA m.p.g. rating for my car. Part of it involves cruise controlled 55 m.p.h. driving in the right lane on freeways. I must say that I have noticed no tendency of people joining me at the speed in the slow lane. I’m not sure who’s changing their driving habits, but I don’t see it on Southern California’s freeways.

    I’d love to take public transportation from my house in Anaheim to my office in Long Beach, but to do so I’d have to take a train to downtown Los Angeles, then light rail to downtown Long Beach, then a bus to my office (which is about three miles from the light rail stop). This would take approximately 2 1/ hours and cost more than the fuel to make the drive, even in my Land Rover LR3 HSE with its V8 burning premium at $4.179/gallon. Obviously, I drive.

  3. With today’s issue about gas, it would be wise to get started how to save on fuel? There are six things you can do to be a real fuel saver such as lighten up, go easy on your foot, maintenance is the key, know your ride, it’s all about aerodynamics and now know your fuel. You won’t just do Mother Earth a favor. Your pockets will breathe a huge sigh of relief as well.

  4. hi, andar here, i just read your post. i like very much. agree to you, sir.

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