*Inflation is hitting everyone hard at the gas pump and leaving some folks stranded while others are rethinking their vehicle options.
Some drivers only partially filled their car’s gas tank while many more have opted to drive less, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.
“If you only have five or 10 bucks left before your next paycheck, that’s what you’re going on,” said says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “This tells us people are really hurting from high gas prices.”
Here’s more from The Washington Post:
Fuel prices began their most recent surge after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, upsetting energy markets. The U.S. average for a gallon of gas has swelled 62 percent, to $4.96, since last year, AAA data shows. Motorists in 16 states are paying at least $5 a gallon on average, while California has breached $6. Filling up a tank of gas, depending on the vehicle, can cost more than $100, which is the equivalent of 14 hours of after-tax income for certain low-wage workers.
“I find myself not doing things I used to with the kids because of the gas prices,” said Alina Hille of St. Louis. “We used to go for drives when they are restless or try to drive to playgrounds, or destinations they haven’t been to before.”
“People will maintain their driving habits in the short term because they do not see an alternative to meeting their goals, whether for commuting or recreational driving. Over a period of months or years, however, many things will change if prices stay high,” said Roger Ware, an economist with Queen’s University in Ontario.
If gas prices don’t take a dip soon, many consumers may trade their vehicles for more fuel-efficient options.
Per the report, “about 2 percent of AAA’s total roadside assistance calls each month are fuel-related. In March 2019, when fuel was cheap and more vehicles were on the road, there were 53,800 fuel-related assistance calls,” The Washington Post writes.