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AAA identifies motorist breaking point on gas prices

April 23, 2013 Areawide, Business No Comments
The report finds that roughly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.  At the top of that list is less driving in general, less dining out and less shopping; at the bottom of the list is using public transportation.

The report finds that roughly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle. At the top of that list is less driving in general, less dining out and less shopping; at the bottom of the list is using public transportation.

Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, indicating a potential breaking point on gas prices, according to a new consumer price index developed by AAA.

The report also points to the negative impact on consumer spending in other areas, in order to keep gas expenditures to a manageable level.

The report finds that roughly two-thirds of Americans (62 percent) are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.

At the top of that list is less driving in general, less dining out and less shopping; at the bottom of the list is using public transportation.

“Nationally, gas prices have remained above $3 for more than two years now, but in Connecticut we’ve gone well above the $4 mark for extended periods twice in the past year,” said AAA Public Affairs Manager Aaron Kupec. “It is possible there is a new normal in terms of consumer attitudes toward gas prices.”

The results from the open-ended survey demonstrate how attitudes can be expected to change as prices rise above significant milestones.  For example:

  • 46 percent believe the cost of gas is “too high” when the price reaches $3 per gallon
  • 61 percent believe $3.50 per gallon is “too high”
  • 90 percent believe the “too high” point is $4 per gallon

Consumers report changing their driving habits or lifestyle in a number of ways to offset recent gas prices, including:

  • Driving less – 86 percent
  • Reducing shopping or dining out – 71 percent
  • Driving a more fuel-efficient car – 54 percent
  • Delaying major purchases – 53 percent
  • Working closer to home – 39 percent
  • Car-pooling – 33 percent
  • Using public transportation more regularly – 15 percent
  • Other – 18 percent

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in Connecticut today (April 23) is $3.72 compared to $3.52 nationally.

About ‘Triple A’

AAA provides travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services to 53 million members nationwide. AAA is committed to keeping its members AAA logoon-the-go by providing outstanding roadside assistance, valuable online resources on buying and maintaining vehicles and through the Approved Auto Repair program, which has inspected and approved over 7,500 auto repair facilities in North America. For more information about AAA, members and non-members can visit one of eight offices in central and eastern Connecticut, go online to AAA.com or call 860-236-3261.

Posted April 23, 2013 based on a press release as edited and added to by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan

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