Why High Gas Prices Haven't Affected Driving Behavior
"We're not even close to the sacrifice point (before prices force a significant change in consumer behavior)," said petroleum analyst Michael Economides of the University of Houston. "It'll be $10 a gallon before people really start crying uncle."
"Energy costs soak up a smaller piece of the typical American's paycheck than they used to. In 1981, we used 8 percent of household income on energy; today, we use 6 percent.
Compared with many nations' gasoline prices, fuel in the U.S. is dirt cheap. The national average of $3.01 is less than half the price in several European countries.
That's part of the reason why Americans account for only 7 percent of the world's population yet use 22 percent of global energy supplies."