High gas prices no longer fuel decline in American driving

Americans now are less likely to change their driving habits or lifestyle to offset rising gas prices, primarily because this year’s gas prices are lower than last year.

That was the finding of a survey by the national AAA survey.

According to the survey, only half of U.S. adults (53%) are now doing something to offset the current gas prices.

Experts: Prices unlikely to top $3.65

Production increases and abundant supplies have led to lower gas prices this year. Industry experts are predicting the national average price of gas may not reach $3.65 per gallon this spring, which would be nearly 15 cents cheaper than the peak in 2013 and about 30 cents less than in 2012.

Meanwhile, the demand for gas is on the rise. The Energy Information Administration reports a 1.1% increase in demand for gasoline, the largest annual increase since 2006.

What is too much for gas?

According to the survey, most people continue to believe gas prices are too high when prices reach $3 or higher. Here’s a breakdown:

— 40% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3 per gallon

— 50% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.30 per gallon

— 65% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon

— 91% believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4 per gallon

How Americans save on gas

Roughly half of Americans say they are changing driving habits or lifestyle to offset gas prices. Those who do so report they:

— Combine errands or trips: 85%

— Drive less: 84%

— Reduce shopping or dining out: 68%

— Delay major purchases: 52%

— Drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle: 49%

— Put aside less money for savings: 42%

— Work closer to home: 41%

— Carpool: 30%

— Use public transportation more regularly: 17%

There’s also a potential generation gap when it comes to behavior and gas prices. The survey reported young adults from ages 18 to 34 are more likely than older adults to offset prices by working closer to home (60% vs. 34%), carpooling (49% vs. 23%), and using public transportation more regularly (32% vs. 11%).

About the local AAA

The local Triple A is AAA Southern New England, a nonprofit auto club with 50 offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The organization serves more than 3.5 million members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.