Did You Really Stop Driving?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll finds 64 percent of adults saying they’ve changed their driving behavior in response to higher gas prices. That includes 19 percent who said they’ve “cut back on driving enough to have a major effect on their daily lives,” as well as 5 percent who said they’ve “stopped driving altogether.”

So, demand for gas must be plummeting, right? Actually, not right. According to the latest data from the federal Energy Information Administration, demand has indeed been down in recent weeks vs. a year ago-but by a not-so-grand total of 2 percent. There’s no question that gas prices are causing pain, but it’s also clear that people have exaggerated notions of how they’re dealing with it.

Anyhow, many will be pleasantly surprised if gas prices stay at their current high levels. Seventy-two percent think it “very likely” a gallon of gas will cost $4 this year.