Low gas prices mean big savings, but do drivers notice?

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By Blake Froling
Ingham County Chronicle

The pain most people experience when looking at the rising digits at the gas pump is slightly easier to bear nowadays.

Gas prices hit rock bottom in the past few months, reaching their lowest figures in years. But some consumers do not see much difference in the savings each time they fill up. Prices in Lansing dipped below $1.80 per gallon in January, the first time this has happened since late 2008. This should come as a welcome relief to drivers who had to shell out almost twice that amount in August.

“I have a really good car on gas mileage so it doesn’t affect me as much, but I do notice some savings,” said Brandie Yates, who has a long commute to work every day. “It’s great that the prices have been so low, but they won’t affect any of my driving habits.”

The savings are quite visible from this chart of gas prices for the past year.

The savings are quite visible from this chart of gas prices for the past year.

While the savings might be hard to notice, some simple math can show how the money adds up. For instance, as of Feb. 24, the average price for a gallon of gas in Lansing was $2.36. If a typical car uses 12 gallons of gas, the total cost would be $28.32. But if the price was $3.64 per gallon like it was last February, the total would be $43.68. That is a 54 percentage burden lifted from wallets everywhere.

Unfortunately for the consumers, gas prices have started to climb back up. As of Feb. 24, a gallon of gas costs 41 cents more than it did earlier. However, compared to the sky-high prices from last August, the current ones seem like a gift. Some drivers just do not see the savings.

“It’s not really that great of savings,” said Charlie Nunez. “I haven’t noticed any changes in my driving.”

According to Lansing Gas Prices, gas had not gone below $2.30 since 2009. Based on current price trends, It appears costs will continue to rise as summer approaches, so consumers should take advantage of the huge savings before it is too late.


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