Rising fuel prices have prompted American drivers to change their lifestyle habits

According to a new report, many Americans are driving less cars, reducing the number of shopping trips they take and even eating out because of higher gas prices.

In a survey of more than 1,000 adults, more than half — 64% — said they had changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March to ease pain at the pump.

Eighty-eight percent of those drivers drove fewer cars, while 74 percent were combining errands and 56 percent cutting back on shopping trips or eating out, according to data from the American Automobile Association. Volatile gas prices have also forced 29% of motorists to postpone vacations.

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Also, a recent Fox News poll showed that more than half of voters surveyed said they changed their summer travel plans because of gas prices.

The national average retail price of regular gasoline is down 17 cents from last week and is $4.32 on Tuesday, down 69 cents from a record high of $5.01 a gallon on June 14, according to AAA data.

A customer pumps gas at a station in Connecticut. (Fox Business/Daniela Genovese)

For the past 42 days in a row, prices have seen a steady decline driven by lower domestic demand for gasoline and lower crude oil prices. However, the national average on Tuesday is $1.17 more than it was a year ago, according to the AAA.

“Crude oil prices fell last week as the market continues to be concerned that weak demand, which was expected to remain strong throughout the summer, may continue to drive prices lower,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said on Monday.

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If crude oil prices remain below $100 a barrel, demand remains flat, and if there is a mild hurricane season, prices are likely to continue lower, Gross told FOX Business. Oil accounts for nearly 60% of what a person puts into the pump, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Even with this easing, prices are still 40% higher than the average of the last 46 summers when adjusted for inflation, said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group for FOX Business, which means consumers will continue to change their driving habits.

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Specifically, Schork predicts that gasoline demand will continue to decline as cash-strapped consumers prioritize spending on food as prices rose 10% year-over-year in June and “keep the lights on.”

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