High Gas Prices Causing Mass. Motorists to Drive Less

$3.50 per gallon mark was tipping point

BOSTON -- A new study of motorists in Massachusetts has found that continued concerns over high gasoline prices may influence their travel plans. According to survey findings released by Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp., this year's increase in the price of gasoline has resulted in almost nine in 10 respondents (88%) driving less.

With gasoline prices currently just under $4 a gallon, the $3.50 per gallon mark was the point at which most started to drive less.

High gasoline prices may affect many popular summer activities. Of those surveyed who claimed the price of fuel has impacted their driving decisions, 21% cited limiting travel for Memorial Day as a potential way to counter price hikes, and 69% noted they might avoid traveling to popular summer destinations, such as Cape Cod. In an effort to drive less, most (75%) are likely to reduce time spent on vacation and recreational activities.

To combat the effects of high gasoline prices, many Massachusetts drivers are seeking alternatives. In fact, over a quarter of respondents (28%) will resort to walking and a fifth (20%) will opt for public transportation. Only 11% of respondents cited car pooling as an alternative they will consider.

Plymouth Rock and other insurance companies offer savings to low-mileage drivers, it said.

Click here to view the study.

Separately, AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 1.2%--or 500,000 travelers--from the 34.3 million people who traveled one year ago. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28 (see Related Content below).