Drivers changing in light of gas prices

May 22, 2012 5:04:46 PM PDT
More congestion, higher gas prices and an urge to ditch the gas guzzler -- that's what a pair of surveys found that drivers are facing, just in time for a big travel weekend.

Gas prices have fallen from their highs of just a few weeks ago, but not enough to help some drivers we spoke with who say prices at the pump are having an impact on how they drive, how far they drive and even what they are driving.

Johnnie Jackson's next car will get better gas mileage.

"No more SUVs, no more SUVs," he said.

Jackson ditched his SUV to buy his current ride, but he says even it uses too much gas.

Jackson said, "My car is a six cylinder and it takes 60 bucks to fill it up. From what I have seen, those with newer cars, the fuel efficiency, people who have them say it helps."

Jackson is not alone when it comes to making mileage a chief consideration for his next car buy. According to Consumer Reports, two thirds of the people they surveyed expect their next vehicle to be more fuel efficient.

"We can see car owners are open to different ways of saving at the pump, from downsizing to getting an alternative-fuel vehicle," Rik Paul with Consumer Reports said.

Count driver Leticia Gil among them.

"Electric car or hopefully no car," she said. "Maybe they will have little space ships you can jump into."

While some drivers plan to save on gas by getting a car with higher gas mileage, others are already changing the way they drive their current vehicles.

Driver Barbara Hudson said, "I think about my schedule, I try to schedule things accordingly, like if I have to be in Galveston I think about what is along the way that I need to do in that area."

Consumer Reports found 35 percent of drivers are logging fewer miles because of high gas prices.

"We realize it is very costly to do it and more so now and you have to fill up your tank at almost 4 dollars a gallon," Gil said.

If higher gas prices are not bad enough, Houston drivers are dealing with more congestion according to the traffic survey company Inrix. The company found Houston is in the top ten American cities that saw the biggest increase in traffic.


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