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43% Say High Gas Prices Have Big Impact on Their Lifestyle

Friday, May 06, 2011

A plurality of Americans say high gas prices have had a significant impact on their daily lives and that they are driving less now than they were a year ago.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of American Adults say the rising cost of gasoline has had a big impact on their personal lifestyle. Still, that’s down eight points from April 2008, the last time gas prices soared, when 51% felt that way.  Another 37% say high gas prices have had some impact on their lifestyle.

Nineteen percent (19%) haven't felt any major impact from the rising prices, but that includes just three percent (3%) who claim no impact. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-one percent (41%) of adults say they are not driving as much as they did a year ago. Only 11% say they are driving more these days, while 47% are driving just as much now as they were then.

When deciding on their next vehicle purchase, 84% of Americans say gas prices will be at least a somewhat important part of their decision-making.  That figure includes 62% who say it will be a Very Important factor.  Only 12% say gas prices will not be very or at all important to their car-buying decision. These findings are virtually unchanged from early June 2009, however, long before gas prices began rising.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on April 30-May 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has suggested a mileage tax for drivers as a way to pay for the Obama administration’s plans to spend $556 billion over six years on transportation projects. But Americans nationwide remain firmly opposed to a tax based on the number of miles they drive.

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