Gas prices have been on the rise recently. With the average price of a gallon continuing to soar, we polled Americans to see how the price at the pump is affecting their daily life. With the PureSpectrum Insights Platform, we were able to survey Americans and within minutes learn what changes they are making and their current sentiments about the cost of fuel.
The Stress of Rising Gas Prices
97% of Americans say gas prices have risen in their area. This increase affects more than just how often people are driving. 64% of Americans polled say that gas prices are changing their overall spending and forcing them to make other cutbacks to stay within their budgets. 30% of respondents reported feeling extremely worried about rising gas prices. Utilizing the PureSpectrum Insights Platform to filter by gender, we saw that this financial stress is being felt more acutely by women than by men.
Commuting and Travel Woes
When asked if the increase in gas price affects their ability to get to and from work, 47% of Americans say yes. 23% of respondents say they are utilizing public transportation more because of the current price of gas. Another 27% say they have begun carpooling. Utilizing the PureSpectrum Insights Platform to filter responses by age, we saw that younger Americans are much more likely to carpool than their older counterparts.
So what can employers do to help ease the strain on employees’ wallets? Only 9% of respondents say they currently receive gas reimbursement or stipends from their workplace. But, 64% think that this is an incentive that employers should offer. Others believe that employers could help Americans save on gas by continuing to let them work from home. 63% of respondents said they want to work from home because of the current rising costs of gas.
Commuting isn’t the only travel that is currently being affected. 73% of Americans say the increase in gas prices affects the amount of driving they are willing to do for social plans too. Many Americans have also been canceling trips. 45% of respondents say that they have had to change or put travel plans on hold due to current gas prices.
It’s no secret that America has been slow to adopt electric vehicles, a poll we published in 2021 reported that only 9% of Americans currently drive an EV. But it’s still unclear whether today’s gas prices will persuade Americans to go electric. When asked if the rising price of gas affects their desire to own an electric vehicle, an equal amount (45%) of respondents said yes and no. However, 53% of respondents said they are now considering buying/leasing an electric or hybrid vehicle for their next automotive purchase.
Recent news reports of Hertz making EVs 20 percent of its fleet made us wonder if more Americans might be interested in renting an electric vehicle? Nearly 50% of our respondents say yes, they would consider renting an electric or hybrid over a gas-powered vehicle if given the opportunity.
Who’s to Blame and For How Long?
So how long do Americans expect to see this spike in gas prices? Most Americans are bracing themselves for the long haul. Nearly a third of respondents think higher prices will last a few months, a quarter think it will last a year, and another quarter believes that high prices are the new normal.
When asked who or what was to blame for the spike, our respondents were split between the US government and current world affairs. Only 13% feel gas/energy companies are to blame and 9% of respondents blame foreign governments. But when we utilized the custom cross tab feature on the PureSpectrum Insight Platform, we saw that political party affiliations greatly affect these opinions. Republicans make up a majority of respondents who blame the US government and Democrats are much more likely to fault current world events and gas/energy companies.
Despite the differences in opinion on the cause of high gas prices, one thing is clear about the effect – Americans have quickly felt the pain of high gas prices. Many are already reducing their spending, others are making lifestyle changes, and a few may search for new jobs that are remote or closer to home. If you would like to learn more about how your business may be affected by these consumer sentiments, get in touch with us. We are also happy to share additional insights and crosstabs from our survey.
PureSpectrum interviewed 506 online respondents on March 16th, 2022, using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform. The platform is integrated with the PureSpectrum Marketplace which combines proprietary measurement tools and third-party data validation to quickly collect high-quality insights. The study fielded in less than 15 minutes, targeted people within the United States, and consisted of a general population audience of 18+ years old. This study uses a 95% confidence level to examine the data.