The average price of gas in Dallas this week went down to $3.74 per gallon. Though the price has dropped recently, just in time for Memorial Day, some drivers are still looking for alternatives to save money on gas.

In a recent survey, conducted by USA Today/Gallup, Americans were asked if they have made significant changes in lifestyle to accommodate for the high prices in gas. 53% answered yes, with lower income adults being the highest percentage affected (68%).

Rising gas prices have caused 53% of Americans to make lifestyle changes; image source: Gallup.com
Rising gas prices have caused 53% of Americans to make lifestyle changes; image source: Gallup.com

The chart shows that a higher number of unemployed Americans have made lifestyle changes versus those that are employed. That may be explained by lack in flexibility to cut back driving, especially for those who have longer commutes to work.

“It is 46 miles one way from Cross Plains to Abilene. That’s 92 miles a day,” said Tammy Harris, as she described her commute to her job.

Harris attributes her commute to Abilene due to lack of jobs in Cross Plains, where she lives.

Americans are looking to several options to save money on gas. In the Gallup survey, 32% of those polled responded they are driving less to save money. Travelling and vacationing less came in second with 16%.

Some of those alternatives have included purchasing more gas efficient vehicles. “I really want one,” said Nelson, who is contemplating swapping out his vehicle for a more fuel-efficient Ford Fusion.

Americans look at several options to save money on gas; image source: Gallup.com
Americans look at several options to save money on gas; image source: Gallup.com

Another option drivers are taking is to drop driving cars altogether.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, sales of gas-powered scooters have gone up 50% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to last year.

“Most of the people who buy them use them for commuting, not for fun,” said Tom Murphy, owner of Rockland International Motorsports. Just this year, International Motorsports has sold 250 gas-powered scooters. That is a 65% increase from last year.

In cities like Denton and Ft. Worth, Texas, cycling has become a popular alternative to driving to work. Cycling enthusiasts in both cities are taking steps to urge that roads be more bike-friendly.

In Denton, the city has already passed an ordinance to make roads safer for cyclists.

Martha M. Meade, manager of public and government affairs of AAA Mid-Atlantic, said, “Have we seen the gas price peak for summer 2011? Analysts say we have, which is welcome news for motorists.”

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