How Far Have Gas Prices Driven You?

June 5, 2008
Gas tank

Gas tank

Writing about cars gives me an ironic privilege: I don't have to worry about gas prices as much as the civilian driver. So when I saw this provocative, preventative measure against gas theft at a station somewhere in deep Lower Alabama (L.A., to you outsiders), it finally struck me--gas is too damn expensive.

With $4-a-gallon gas the reality across most of the country, drivers are taking extraordinary measures to use less gas and to make each mile count more. Since November of last year, drivers have been cutting back in dramatic, historic ways. In March, CNN reports, drivers slashed mileage totals by about 4 percent, the biggest drop since 1942. And the recent Memorial Day holiday saw fewer drivers than years past too.

Though gas prices are less of a worry for me, I make sure that trips count. I'm putting fewer than five non-work-related miles on cars per day and applauding the fact that my neighborhood is getting more pedestrian friendly. But other drivers I know are doing more--carpooling, cutting back on crosstown trips to see friends, and even putting movie and Starbucks money into the gas tank instead. Some are considering diesels for their next car; some are talking about replacing big SUVs with smaller cars or alternative fuel vehicles like the E85 Chevrolet Impala that's sitting out in my driveway.

What have you done to adapt to gas prices--and do you think $4 a gallon is the new normal? Tell us in a comment below.

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