As gas prices rise, drivers changing habits

April 22, 2011 9:25:29 PM PDT
The rise in gas prices shows no sign of slowing down, and it is starting to keep drivers off the road and closer to home.

Prices have reached the $4 mark in many places. At an Exxon station in King of Prussia, regular was at $4.05. At a Lukoil station in Devon, regular was $4.11.

"It's killing pockets, you now?" Dubbiel Sowell of Southwest Philadelphia. "You don't even get as much bang for your buck anymore."

That's especially true if you drive a big gas-guzzler. Peter Nestor of West Chester hasn't topped off his tank in a while.

"I try to work from home as much as possible. Luckily, I have a job that allows for that. For a majority of people who work, that's not an option," he said.

"I'm supposed to spend most of my time in my clients' offices in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Instead, I'm working from home a lot more, which is problematic," sai d Jen Starbuck of Berwyn.

For many, road trips are a thing of the past.

"I don't drive as much as I used to, and I don't plan to. We're not going on any travelling vacations or anything like that," said Mathias Szeyller of Paoli.

Staycations are back.

And folks say they're not eating out as much, not when a fill-up is the same as dinner for two at a nice restaurant.

Gas station owners are also hurting.

With prices this high, people are conserving and buying less.

"Prices increase, volumes decrease. We make as the same, per gallon, when it's $2 as we do when it's $4," said gas station owner John Cordisio.

The pain is being felt more so in Pennsylvania than New Jersey and Delaware, which are slightly below the national average of $3.85 a gallon. Prices in Pennsylvania are well above that.