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Consumers Run Out of Gas When It Comes to Changing Their Driving Patterns
Consumers Run Out of Gas When It Comes to Changing Their Driving PatternsA new survey conducted by the MSN(R) Carpoint(TM) service, the most visited car-buying and car-ownership site on the Web, revealed that many Americans are slow to change their driving behavior despite high gas prices.

66 percent of those polled in the MSN Fast Facts May 2001 survey said that the rising cost of gas has not influenced their driving patterns, including driving more, driving less or carpooling. When those surveyed were asked what vehicle they were considering purchasing or leasing in the next 12 to 18 months, 33 percent indicated an SUV, which is among the least fuel-efficient autos on the road. Sedans ranked second at 30 percent, and compacts, which usually get the best mileage per gallon, gathered one of the smaller percentages of consumers with 19 percent.

Although few surveyed are willing to alter their patterns to drive less often or carpool, consumers would drive farther to save 20 to 30 cents per gallon on their gas purchase. Here is how far they would drive for that savings:

-- 10 percent would drive up to 1 mile.
-- 19 percent would drive 1 to 2 miles.
-- 27 percent would drive 3 to 4 miles.
-- 32 percent would drive more than 4 miles.

Here are some fuel-saving tips available at

-- Keep vehicles well maintained with regular servicing for efficient operation. Fouled spark plugs, dirty air filters and low tire pressure
can affect fuel economy.
-- Accelerate gradually and drive at a smoother rate to gain as much as 20 percent in fuel economy, compared with aggressive driving.
-- Do not let your engine idle too long.
-- Look at alternative transportation options -- even if it is just for one or two days a week. Walk, bicycle, carpool or take public
transportation and leave your vehicle at home.

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