Rising gas prices finally put a dent in driving plans


A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that soaring gas prices have caused 64% of Americans to cut back on their driving. 19% said that they had reduced their driving enough to have a significant impact on their lives.

On Sunday, the median price of gas rose to a record $3.285, and hasn't pulled back much since. Over the past year, gas prices have risen more than 28%.

Amusingly, many respondents said that if gas hit $8 a gallon, they would quit driving altogether. This is good news. Until recently, demand for gas has been remarkably inelastic. In spite of guffawing and whining, people kept driving and shelling out the cash. But a willingness on the part of consumers to seek alternatives means of transportation could help ease the burden of rising gas prices.

And driving less has other benefits too: it's better for the environment, walking/biking does wonders for your body, and less driving will also mean less eating out/shopping for stupid stuff we don't need. Of course, that's bad for retailers and restaurants, but it could be great for your retirement portfolio.