WASHINGTON– Between November and April, Americans have cut back on driving by 30 billion miles, reported USA Today. According to Marilyn Brown, professor of energy policy at Georgia Tech, "The difference between now and 1979, when prices were comparable when you adjust for inflation, is there's a sense of sustained pain. There's a sense that the era of cheap energy is a thing of the past."
The decline accounts for about one percent of miles driven, but as the paper points out, it totals to bigger behavior changes because miles driven usually increases by one to two percent a year. Brown also referred to the expansion of transit ridership, demand for smaller cars, and tanking SUV sales. The oil crisis in the late-1980s was the last time American drivers changed their habits this drastically.
The Wall Street Journal recently opened a forum discussion in which readers are encouraged to share stories about if and how they've changed their driving habits.