Drivers saying no to high gas prices?
Contrary to expectations that driving would increase as more people go back to work, gas consumption is diving.
This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.
Are Americans finally fighting back? The Associated Press reports that gasoline sales have fallen for five straight weeks; before that, sales had increased for two straight months.
Those numbers, complied by MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks spending at 140,000 service stations nationwide, are a bit surprising in view of rising employment. "More people are going to work," said John Gamel, director of gasoline research for MasterCard. "That means more people are driving and they should be buying more gas." Post continues after video.
About 70% of the nation's major gas station chains say sales have fallen, according to the Oil Price Information Service. More than half reported a drop of 3% or more -- the biggest decline since late summer of 2008, when gas soared past $4 a gallon.
- MSN Autos:Find the cheapest gas near you
Then, battered U.S. drivers responded by cutting back to the tune of 15 billion miles a month. Some bought fuel-efficient vehicles and others turned to mass transit, but mostly, it seemed, people just drove less.
Responding to the laws of supply and demand, prices plummeted almost immediately. Oil companies, which were reporting record profits, saw their swag drop considerably.
Will that happen again? It hasn't yet. According to AAA's daily survey, the average cost of gas has climbed 22 cents in the past month, reaching $3.77, with Alaska, Hawaii and California now over $4.13 and Connecticut, Illinois and New York pushing out the $4 mark. Only Wyoming is under $3.50.
Experts, citing unrest in Africa and the Middle East, increasing global demand for crude oil, and, of course, those dreaded oil speculators, expect gasoline prices to continue to rise to well above $4.
These are smart folks, and they may be right. On the other hand, Americans have voted with their wheels before. And since our economy and family finances are more fragile than they were just before the real estate and stock market meltdowns in the fall of 2008, it would not be surprising if the buyer backlash is even more pronounced.
Why, people might even stop driving 80 mph on the freeways.
More from MSN Money:
I live in a rural area. Towns are far apart. I walk whenever I can and I have found I only drive two to three times a week. I watch my $10.00 go two weeks. Am I happy? Oh, ya! Do I care that the demand for oil is down? Not at all. Let this be a lesson to the greedy people: American people are tired of the status quo.
We are fighting back.
I own a motorcycle. I used to ride it only for pleasure on the weekends. Now it is my full-time commuter. I am saving about $100 / month in gas since the motorcycle gets about 60 mpg compared to the truck's 17 mpg. Plus, it's alot more fun! The F-150 hasn't budged in 2 weeks.
I don't know where this author got their facts but here in AZ gas has continued to rise & rise it has not decreased at all in the past several months. HOWEVER, here in Tucson, AZ it is only $3.41 a gallon & personally I don't drive anywhere I don't have to.
I also consolidate my grocery shopping trips. Before I hit 3 stores which weren't very far apart now I only go to one. How do you save $$ if you're spending it on gas to get there?!
Please people show this gas company execs the power of the people! Use your vehicle less & slow down!
According to studies backed by the department of energy, the average car will be at its advertised mpg at 55 mph. But as speed increases:
- 3% less efficient at 60 mph
- 8% less efficient at 65 mph
- 17% less efficient at 70 mph
- 23% less efficient at 75 mph
- 28% less efficient at 80 mph
This effect happens for two reasons:
1) Increasing air resistance. According to CNN, "Pushing air around actually takes up about 40% of a car's energy at highway speeds. Traveling faster makes the job even harder...The increase is actually exponential, meaning wind resistance rises much more steeply between 70 and 80 mph than it does between 50 and 60. "
2) Engines are designed for specific speed, temperature, and rpm ranges. Driving out of these ranges goes against the fundamental design of the engine.
The fat lady is starting to tune up.
Libya has nothing to do with the price of gas. The teeny amount that we get from them isn't worth the time to discus it. Speculation is what is driving this train. The actual price of a barrel of sweet crude isn't that high. People speculating on the future of oil. Well, the future is here and we are tired.
Driving faster only gets you there poorer. I have had many vehicles and they all did better at 55mph with the cruise control on. I can go 75mph with the cruise control on. I pass more than I get passed by, but when I get there that little needle on the gas gauge is closer to empty than it would have been if I had set the cruise control at 55mph and homesteaded in the slow lane.
This is a sad commentary on life because I really enjoy flyin' down the freeway passin' everyone.
To the wizard (1234GBB). You dont need to be a "rocket surgeon" to calculate gas mileage but it obviously takes some knowledge or shall we call it common sense to realize you dont actually burn less gas when you go faster. Most rocket surgeons from experience will verify 10-20% better fuel economy at 60 rather than 80.
For the non rocket surgeons out there when you push the gas peddle in farther the rate of fuel consumption increases.
Those numbers, complied by MasterCard SpendingPulse,… are a bit surprising in view of rising employment…Experts, citing unrest in Africa and the Middle East, increasing global demand for crude oil, and, of course, those dreaded oil speculators, expect gasoline prices to continue to rise to well above $4.
Funny how the experts know all about what’s going on half way around the world, but, can’t predict what American consumers are going to do; the biggest factor in oil demand.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'