Fewer people will die on the road. The less you drive, the more likely you will survive, if the events of 2008, the year of the most recent gas price surge, are correct. In 2007, 30,527 died in automobile (including truck) accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, that number dropped 12%, to 26,791.
This mainly was attributed to a decrease in highway speed. Also contributing was a 2% drop in miles driven, from 3.03 trillion to 2.97 trillion, despite a 1.7% increase in the number of registered vehicles. On the negative side, with many turning to more economical modes of transportation, motorcycle deaths rose 2.6% in 2008 and bicycle deaths 1%.
Demand for high-mileage cars may grow. The key word here is "may." Hybrid sales rose quickly in 2007 as gas prices climbed, then dropped noticeably in the second half of 2008 as gas prices plummeted from over $4 to $1.60. This time around, despite gas prices climbing steadily over the past year, hybrid cars shrunk from 2.9% of new vehicle sales in 2009 to 2.4% in 2010, according to Ward's Auto. Meanwhile, sales of trucks, SUVs, crossovers and minivans rose from 48% of the market to 51% from 2009 to 2010. In addition, the average fuel economy rating of new vehicles sold in 2010 was 22.2 mpg, down from 22.3 mpg in 2009.
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Which proves, of course, that Americans love their big vehicles. It could turn out to be different this time around. For one thing, there will be far more gas-efficient options available, plus all-electrics like the Chevrolet Volt and the soon-to-be-launched Ford Focus Electric. And for another, if those $5 doomsayers are right, the biggest hit on the credit card is yet to come.
Shorter security lines. Airlines fares are extremely fuel-price reactive. Soon, hardly anyone will be able to afford to fly willy-nilly around the country or globe. You will breeze through the maze of airport checkpoints.
Less pollution. Less driving means cleaner air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "pollution from vehicles causes two of our worst air pollution problems, smog and carbon monoxide." There are no solid figures on how many Americans die annually from car-produced pollution, but a 2008 study by Great Britain's University of Birmingham linked pneumonia deaths to pollution from motor vehicles.
Less congestion. Ever notice how well rush-hour freeway traffic flows on the minor holidays when most of the rest of us are working? A 2% drop in miles driven can make a big difference, allowing you to drive faster, although you now won't want to. According to the Department of Energy, on average every 5 mph you drive over 60 is like paying an extra 24 cents per gallon (based on a $3.79 price).
Right from the Obama play book. Do you feel much better now?
Answer by hopeandglory53 at 11:12 AM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:42 AM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by meriana at 11:51 AM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by DSamuels at 2:36 PM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 4:00 PM on Apr. 24, 2011
What would you like him to do...
Well, janet, I would like for him to get the gov't out of the way and let us drill for our own oil. I want my country to use the natural resources that were so valuable when this country was so interesting to the Europeans. I want to be an independent country who does not need another country for the basic things including the American flag (most are made in China). Instead, he continues to support tighter and tighter restrictions so that we can't provide for ourselves while using our food stock, corn, to make ethanol and subsidize oil exploration and refining in Brazil. That is what I want him to do.
Answer by jesse123456 at 6:51 PM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 1:29 PM on Apr. 24, 2011
LATEST POLL -75% of the country disapproves of Congress due to rising gas prices and prolonged unemployment. 57% disapprove of the President because of those factors. THESE GAS PRICES ARE HORRIBLE, and not only hurt those of us who commute everyday, but it hurts the economy as a whole.
Answer by Anonymous at 2:06 PM on Apr. 24, 2011
Answer by yourspecialkid at 6:28 PM on Apr. 24, 2011