AAA Survey Says…Driving, Lifestyle Changes Offset High Gas Prices

Pump price increases push 8 in 10 drivers to change driving habits

Phoenix, Ariz. March 13, 2012. With gas prices up 20 percent since the start of the year, AAA recently conducted a survey to identify how drivers are changing their behavior to help offset higher prices at the pump.

“The majority of respondents admit that they’ve already altered their driving and lifestyle habits based on the current cost of fuel,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “However, even more–nearly 90 percent–indicated that they’d make changes if prices remain at current levels for a prolonged period of time.”

As a result of current gas price increases, the survey uncovered the following:

  • 84 percent of respondents have already changed their driving habits or lifestyle in some way.

  • 60 percent of respondents have adjusted their driving habits by combining trips and errands, the most commonly reported cost-cutting measure.

  • 16 percent of respondents have purchased or leased a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

  • When asked how behaviors would change if prices remain at the current level for an extended period of time, the survey found:

  • Nearly nine in ten (87 percent) of respondents would change their driving or lifestyle habits.

  • 34 percent of respondents would purchase or lease a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

While motorists may have little control over the price of gas, they can control the impact of higher prices by following a few of AAA’s recommended tips:

  • Plan ahead. When running errands, combine multiple tasks into one trip. Several short trips starting with a cold engine can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

  • Shop smart. AAA’s TripTik smartphone app provides motorists with the most current and accurate gas price data available. In addition, drivers can subscribe to receive weekly text alerts from AAA on the lowest priced gas in their area by texting GAS and their five-digit zip code to 222411.

  • Maintain your ride. A properly running vehicle achieves maximum fuel economy. Adhere to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule, and track how many miles you get per tank. A sharp decrease in this number could signal a problem under the hood. To find reliable, high-quality auto repair, visit AAA.com/repair.

AAA’s telephone survey consisted of 1,024 adults and was conducted March 1-4, 2012.

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AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on the streets and highways of the state as well as providing insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. In 2008, AAA was ranked the No. 1 “socially responsible” brand by Landor’s BrandAsset® Valuator.