Study Shows That American Driver’s Covered Fewer Miles in 2005.

December 2nd, 2006 by William

I have to give some credit to one of my commenters, Paul N, who replied to an earlier post fuel efficiency standards: New Poll Shows Americans want the Government to Enforce Stricter Fuel-Efficiency Standards. In his reply to this post he stated,
“The real problem with the CAFE is that it doesn’t really control how much fuel people will use after they buy the vehicle. Only higher gas prices (tax) can do that. When gas goes up, people drive less, if it is starting to hurt financially.”

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For last 24 years gas prices continued to go up and so did the average amount of driving in the US. While people would grumble and curse high gas prices they continued to shell out dollars for gallons and keep driving down the road. Even after prices started to spike in recent years, the sales of large SUVs continued to increase. But a recent study by Cambridge Energy Research Associates found that in 2005 Americans actually drove less than the previous year.

The average miles driven was down by about 1 percent, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering it’s the first time this has happened in a quarter-century, it is a pretty big deal. This downward trend in driving also coincides with lower demand for gasoline, shrinking sales of large SUVs and increased sales in small cars and down-sized SUVs. Many people wondered how high prices would have to get before it effected how much Americans drove. It looks like $2.50-$3.00 was the magic price range.

Hear the complete story at NPR.org

-Bill Mertz

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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