A lot of talk has gone around recently about how Americans are nowhere near the "tipping point" for changes in gasoline consumption habits. We're told we need to ride bikes, don't make unnecessary trips, walk, carpool, buy hybrids that are thousands of dollars more than the regular models.
If you feel bombarded by all of this, you're not alone.
What I've gathered from all of this is that most Americans had pretty much cut out the unecessary trips. We go to the store to get necessities. We drive our kids to their babysitters, their schools, their football and baseball practice. We drive to work and back.
My driving includes a 40-45 mile round trip to work, and once a week I drive an extra 30 miles round-trip to meet my parents, so they can watch my child overnight, and my wife meets them at the same place to pick him up...and her daily round-trip to work is similar to mine. I have nobody to carpool with. My only other ventures in my car usually involve going to the grocery store. Other than that, I pretty much go nowhere.
I think most people fit a similar description. They've cut out the Sunday drives, cut back on the visits to family that aren't nearby, and mostly drive out of necessity.
So, when 7 out of 10 Americans say that they won't skip their summer trip because of current gas prices...it's because they've been patient, and earned that break from the monotony caused by necessity-only driving, not because they're selfish and stubborn.