Most of the nation is now feeling the pain of high gas prices. Gas prices are hovering right around five dollars a gallon. The average high, at one point, was $5.03 a gallon. This was a record for the United States. What led us to that point? It was a combination of factors. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine probably helped spur soaring gas prices the most. The reason for this is that crude oil markets have been deeply affected by the war in Ukraine. This, many contend, is the primary reason why gas prices are so high and why the gas industry has reacted accordingly.
Many experts, however, do say that there is some hope on the horizon. Slowly, gas prices are starting to creep back down. And with Biden‘s administration authorizing oil releases from global reserves, forecasters predict this will also help lower prices eventually. In the meantime, the gas industry has its problems as they grapple with people driving far less than they did last summer and thereby spending less on gas.
How are Drivers Handling Gas Prices?
While many political battles are being fought in Washington and beyond, the real victims of the gas crisis are everyday drivers. People go to the pumps to fill up and find that it costs significantly more than they did a year ago. And with rising inflation, these gas prices aren’t helping anyone.
Industry experts are suggesting that when motorists stop driving, even more so than they already have, this is what will ultimately put pressure on prices. There has to be some magic number, be it five or six dollars, at which point people significantly cut down on their driving. This is when the gas industry will be forced to reevaluate, as demand for gas will dramatically drop.
The Residual Effects of Rising Prices
Beyond just whether or not people travel and drive more or less, gas prices have a domino effect. Various industries are having to charge more for their services because part of those services is vehicle-based. Food delivery services, for instance, and rideshare companies are raising their prices. Even businesses that you wouldn’t necessarily think are affected by rising gas prices must pass the costs on to their customers. They are paying more for inventory delivery or shipping, so customers have to pay more.
How People are Combating Rising Gas Prices
While the current gas prices might be unavoidable for many people, there are strategies and approaches you can use to help try and offset some of the pain you feel at the pump:
- Go electric. Electric car searches are definitely on the rise since the escalation of gas prices across the United States. Surveys suggest people shopping for electric cars has gone up almost 200% beginning in February. Gas-powered vehicles may be on their way out if this crisis continues.
- Bike more. One of the unintended effects of this gas crisis might be that America is getting fit. People are walking and biking more than ever because they don’t want to pay monumental prices at the pump.
- Take public transportation. Major cities across the United States report that their subways and metros are experiencing a peak number of riders. Those who would typically drive their cars to work report switching to public transportation, given how much gas currently costs. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the transportation systems in many US cities.
- Take fewer trips. The gas prices are forcing people to reevaluate how they shop; for example, going to the store less often and buying in bulk is becoming more and more the norm. Major grocery chains across the country are seeing that customer trends have changed. People are coming less often and buying more with fewer trips.
Many stations and stores feature special days or promos where gas is five or ten cents less than average. And Americans are certainly taking advantage of these promos. You can use many strategies to try and help deal with the high gas prices we are currently facing.
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