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Old 04-11-2011, 11:21 PM   #41
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Will you drive less, more, or the same, in lieu of gas prices. I have actually seen cars and SUVs driving slower on the highways around me, had not seen that since $4+ gas a couple years ago.

Lots of speculation and money going into energy stocks and ETF's. Maybe we have finally hit "grin and bear it" territory??
No changes, since I don't use gas in my main vehicle. Utility just announced today that they are keeping electric costs flat this year so no worries there.

Agreed completely with the point that the USA REALLY needs to get off the oil monopoly bandwagon. Sure, gasoline will always be used in some vehicles, and oil is used for other products. But the fact that virtually all of our transportation uses gasoline puts our economy completely at risk every time oil spikes in price.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #42
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Also cannot understand the angst when the DOT-compliant OEM headlights on my pickup truck "blind you at night, on the low-beam setting", since admittedly you know it will be a problem for you when you venture out in your little ecobox at night. Do you think that by choosing to drive a small car you should expect special accommodations from everyone else, ie the outdoor enthusiasts, contractors, and soccer moms, et al, driving their vehicles of choice??)
This sounds like the argument in favor of legal possession and use of rocket propelled grenades by drivers and gunners passengers.

I'd consider that a reasonable accommodation.

But that's just me...
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:06 AM   #43
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Personally, in our ever-litigious society, I worry more about people on the road who choose economy over safety and drive those tiny cheap-to-operate cars, knowing they can't see over the countless SUV's, pickup trucks, and minivans. Little ecobox cars are difficult to see in traffic, "creating a hazard from their mere size and presence"..i.e. the eco-warrior trying to force a Smart Car struggling to do 45MPH on the ramp into freeway traffic that is doing 75 MPH... being blown willy-nilly from one lane to the other by every passing semi truck, white-knuckled driver and wide-eyed passenger undoubtedly scared sh*tless in traffic... but, hey, they're saving the planet money!

Also cannot understand the angst when the DOT-compliant OEM headlights on my pickup truck "blind you at night, on the low-beam setting", since admittedly you know it will be a problem for you when you venture out in your little ecobox at night. Do you think that by choosing to drive a small car you should expect special accommodations from everyone else, ie the outdoor enthusiasts, contractors, and soccer moms, et al, driving their vehicles of choice??)
As someone who worked in the auto insurance industry for 23 years, I can tell you that all cars, big and small, became safer in that time due to the addition of airbags, antilock brakes, and automatic seat belts.

I saw data about the percentage of SUVs and light trucks on the road in those years and I was amazed at how quickly the percentage of the heavier vehicles rose to the point that most new vehicles sold in late 1990s were not regular cars. Was it simply our nation's wealth and low gas prices which fueled (no pun intended) the rapid increase of these vehicles on the road? How did all those owners of gas guzzlers manage to get by in the 1980s when there were far fewer of these gas guzzlers?

My car is a Toyota Corolla, not the smallest car on the road but further from the largest than the smallest. It can accelerate onto a highway just fine and go 65, 70, 75 easily.

It takes only one SUV or pickup truck to block the view of many vehicles behind it, creating the aforementioned hazard. I have never found a small car tough to see in traffic. Motorcycles, yes. Small cars, no.

I don't know why these bigger vehicles are allowed to be registered as "cars" and not trucks which would then put some restrictions on them such as left-lane prohibition on expressways, and here in New York prohibit them from parkways which ban trucks and buses.

SUVs are also more prone to rollover accidents due to their higher center of gravity.

SUVs and trucks pose problems when I am trying to get out of a parking spot because they block the view. It annoys (and frightens) me a lot when I park next to regular cars only to find myself surrounded by larger vehicles when I return. I wish parking lots would have special sections for large vehicles so they can stay away from the smaller cars and not create hazards. [My own apartment building's parking garage has become more difficult to park in because there are more SUVs making it more difficult for those of us in smaller cars to get in and out of our spots when we have these behemoths surrounding us. Why would someone replace their car with an SUV when they have a tight parking spot, thereby creating a hazard and nuisance for their neighboring cars?]

And yes, I do expect some accomodations when I am driving at night because I don't want to be blinded and create a hazard for everyone else, whether they are driving a small car or a large one. I don't want to blind others, they should not want to blind me, either.

If gas prices rise to $6, $7, $8 a gallon and that takes the big gas guzzlers off the road so that the roads have as few of them as they did in the 1980s, I will not be upset.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:43 AM   #44
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Here's a picture of a gas pump in Inuvik NWT taken in June of 08. C$1.66/liter = US$6.65 /US gallon. $134 to fill a Jeep Cherokee.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:24 AM   #45
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I'll definitely be riding my bike more, such as yesterday when DW said she needed to pick up a prescription. The weather was ideal so "I'll get it honey". Usually I get ~45mpg but have hit 50mpg.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:25 AM   #46
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Usually I get ~45mpg but have hit 50mpg.
Maybe it's just me, but any use of the term "hit" in association with a motorcycle makes me cringe...

Nice bike, Walt...
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:33 AM   #47
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Perhaps I am excessively risk averse, but any use of a motorcycle makes me cringe.

But it is a nice bike.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:30 AM   #48
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I did have to think long and hard about getting the motorcycle. Before buying it I read all I could find about motorcycle safety, took the class, and so on. The main safety issue is mental attitude.

One SIL, a recently retired nurse, calls it a "donorcycle".

One has to look at the guys who have ridden 300k miles without a scratch. What do they do differently than than the ones who become organ donors? They pay attention to traffic, they are meticulous about maintenance, they stay sober (even at age 17 I knew that!), and they essentially avoid placing themselves in harm's way and stay out of predictably hazardous circumstances. In short, they drive like everyone is "out to get them". Which isn't a bad position to take for anyone.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:01 AM   #49
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One has to look at the guys who have ridden 300k miles without a scratch. What do they do differently than than the ones who become organ donors? They pay attention to traffic, they are meticulous about maintenance, they stay sober (even at age 17 I knew that!), and they essentially avoid placing themselves in harm's way and stay out of predictably hazardous circumstances. In short, they drive like everyone is "out to get them". Which isn't a bad position to take for anyone.
You forgot they don't drive in the DC area
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #50
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I've always used as little gas as possible. I drive infrequently and when I do it's in the most efficient vehicle possible, driving in the most efficient style possible. If gas were free I wouldn't change my use patterns. Because the cost out of my wallet isn't the only cost I consider when I purchase things.

My main concern is local air and water pollution. When something I do increases the risk of cancer and early death for myself, my family and my neighbors, I factor that into my decision-making.

A secondary concern is that about 16% of US oil imports come from countries that oppress women, kill gays, and are hostile to anyone who doesn't follow their fundamentalist doctrines. I'd like to do as little business as possible with religious fanatics who would have me killed if they had the chance.

I don't know if people who use gas frivolously are ignorant of those issues, don't care about them, or they are aware but just derive so much joy from inefficient transportation that it outweighs those external costs. Or perhaps I'm misjudging the external costs?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #51
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Personally, in our ever-litigious society, I worry more about people on the road who choose economy over safety and drive those tiny cheap-to-operate cars, knowing they can't see over the countless SUV's, pickup trucks, and minivans. Little ecobox cars are difficult to see in traffic, "creating a hazard from their mere size and presence"..i.e. the eco-warrior trying to force a Smart Car struggling to do 45MPH on the ramp into freeway traffic that is doing 75 MPH... being blown willy-nilly from one lane to the other by every passing semi truck, white-knuckled driver and wide-eyed passenger undoubtedly scared sh*tless in traffic... but, hey, they're saving the planet money!

Also cannot understand the angst when the DOT-compliant OEM headlights on my pickup truck "blind you at night, on the low-beam setting", since admittedly you know it will be a problem for you when you venture out in your little ecobox at night. Do you think that by choosing to drive a small car you should expect special accommodations from everyone else, ie the outdoor enthusiasts, contractors, and soccer moms, et al, driving their vehicles of choice??)
I suppose we'd all be safer if we all drove vehicles that were 6 feet tall and weighing more than 5,500 pounds. Or, we'd all be safer if we all drove vehicles less than 5 feet tall and weighing less than 3,500 pounds.

Given the topic of the thread, I'd prefer the second option. Like Scrabbler, if higher gas prices cause a shift in that direction, I won't be crying.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:09 PM   #52
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Despite having to drive over 15,000 miles per year (but getting 38 MPG), I enjoy seeing alternative fuels/technologies becoming relatively cheaper.

If prices stay the same (we paid $4.19/gal recently) we'll spend about $1,600 on gas next year.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #53
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When I was w*orking I used to fill up a couple of times a week. Now that I'm ERd, I now fill up occasionally, maybe monthly or so. This causes mixed emotions for me. I am pissed that I have to pay $3.50+/gallon now, but happy that I am not filling up as often as I used to.

I believe that the pissed mood overrides the happy mood.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:24 PM   #54
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I may have to get my Electric bike working again. .001$ per Mile, and was fun to ride. Hope my Lithiom Ion batteries are still in good shape. Use to ride 72 miles/day to and from work.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #55
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A home office certainly has its benefits...if I had to pay $4.20/gallon for premium and getting 15 mpg driving to work an hour each way like most people around here, I'd quit my job. Unless you are making $100k+, between the long drive/stop and go traffic, the wear and tear on the car, and the gas cost, it's not worth it. I'd be going through 2-3 tanks a week at that rate at $65 a pop.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:10 PM   #56
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Gas has been $4.99 a gallon in my neck of the woods for several weeks now, so we've cut back. .

OMG, what city are you in? That is just ridiculously pricey...whew.
What's going to happen to your prices when Phoenix here hits $5? You will be like what? $6.50 a gallon then?
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:16 PM   #57
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I haven't changed anything in response to higher gas prices. Since I retired, I drive half as much as before anyways and DW's car spends more time in the garage than on the road, so we don't consume a lot of gas to start with.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:32 PM   #58
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I haven't changed anything in response to higher gas prices. Since I retired, I drive half as much as before...
Same here. The only problem I do see (as a retiree) is the increase in purchased products due to increased transport costs for the manufacturer/distributor.

That will drive up my personal rate of inflation for the products I actually buy.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:33 PM   #59
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Pump prices will tumble soon.


Oil price tumbles on supplies and Goldman pullback - Yahoo! Finance=
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:41 PM   #60
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Ran across this old bit of US propaganda from WWII

Imagine if we did that today. "When you ride in an empty SUV you ride with Al Qaeda!"

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