These days gas prices are in the back of every American's mind. While we all long for the days when gas was under $3, a new report by AAA shows Americans might be reaching a breaking point.
According to the report, 50 percent of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be too high once they hit $3.44 per gallon. While many half of Americans might be reaching their breaking point, 62 percent said that they are offsetting high gas prices by changing their lifestyle or driving habits.
"It was not long ago that motorists were shocked to pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline, but now that is standard at stations nationwide," said Robert Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA. "Today's average consumer feels a breaking point on high gas prices closer to $3.50 per gallon, and expensive prices have forced many motorists to change their driving habits."
The survey showed that 46 percent of Americans believe gas prices are too high at $3 per gallon, 61 percent think they're too when prices reach $3.50 per gallon and 90 percent said they are too much when prices hit $4 per gallon.
Darbelnet added that it is possible there is a new normal when it comes to consumer attitudes, as gas prices have remained above $3 per gallon for more than two years. He added that people are changing their driving, shopping and dining out habits, in response to save more money for gas.
Consumers also changing which cars they are buying
Consumers are not only changing their lifestyles and spending habits to save more for gas but they are also buying more fuel efficient cars. According to TrueCar's latest TrueMPG, the fuel economy for light vehicles sold in March increased to 23.7 percent, up from 23.4 percent in March 2012, showing that consumers are after fuel efficient vehicles.
"The industry reached yet another record-high TrueMPG average in March, thanks not only to continued consumer preference for smaller vehicles but also due to significantly improved fuel efficiency of larger vehicles, especially large trucks," said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar. "The highly competitive mid-size sedan segment experienced the biggest gain since last year, with Nissan and Chrysler posting the largest improvements among automakers."