Gas prices: 66% of Americans are making 'significant' habit changes: Survey

High gas prices are changing driving habits among Americans, according to a recent Yahoo/Maru Public Opinion survey from April 29-May 1, 2022, among a random selection of 1,392 U.S. drivers.

Two-thirds, or 66% of vehicle owners or households, say they have made or will make significant changes to their driving patterns if the national average cost of gasoline sits between $4.12-4.35 per gallon.

The AAA national average in the U.S. currently sits at $4.28 per gallon.

The remaining group of respondents (34%) say they will not likely change their driving/vehicle use habits until the price is approximately $5.00 per gallon. Some areas of the nation, such as California and Nevada, already exceed that average.

The survey highlights the pinch consumers are facing because of higher energy costs.

These are some of the changes which respondents made or will make with prices between a range of $4.12-4.35 per gallon.

  • Cut back vehicle used for just necessities (like grocery shopping/doctor visits): 62%

  • Not fill the gas tank up but just putting in what is affordable: 41%

  • Leave car and take public transit/take more: 35%

  • Drive to different gas stations to find the best price: 34%

  • Cancel planned summer holiday travels by car: 29%

A recent study of grocery foot traffic shows some consumers are making fewer trips to the grocery store, though paying more or increasing their basket size. The consolidation of grocery visits may be due to higher gasoline prices.

Ines is a markets reporter covering equities. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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