There’s a Downside To Buying Cheaper Gas

Cheaper Gas

Cheaper gas is here, and the world is rejoicing. I recently filled up my full size SUV for less than $2 per gallon, and it made my heart happy. I have not seen $2 per gallon since I was 20, and that was not really all that recently. When I first began driving, gas was still around $1 per gallon and now I’m paying double that and I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m paying half the price for gas now than I was paying a few years ago, and it’s nice to see cheaper gas in our lives once again.

With gas prices down more than $1 per gallon from this time last year, more and more people are able to afford to fill up at the pump and get to and from work. It’s amazing just how much the price of gas affects the lives of so many people. When it was more expensive, someone with a $20 gas tank who fills up 3 times per week driving to and from work was paying $60 more per week on gas than they are right now. That’s a lot of money, and it makes sense that drivers are so happy about the sudden onslaught of cheaper gas.

However, all good things come with a few downfalls. It might not seem as if cheaper gas could have any downfalls; it’s cheaper. How is that a bad thing? It’s not, really, but there is a downside associated with paying for cheaper gas, and we do have that information for you right here.  You see, when people are paying less to drive, they’re doing more of it.

Cheaper Gas Means more Accidents

According to the Federal Highway Administration, American drivers drive approximately 1.8 trillion miles in seven months; that’s a lot of driving. Additionally, with that number of miles on the road, the number of driving-related fatalities has increased more than 10%, which is certainly not a good thing.

With gas prices so cheap these days, more and more people are on the road. With gas prices so low, more families are able to go out more often and spend money elsewhere. What this means is that there are more people on the road at any given moment. More families are traveling because it’s more affordable. When more people are on the road, more accidents occur.

Some of the biggest car insurance agencies in the world have reported that this new, cheaper gas has caused their customers to file more claims, more serious claims and have more accidents as a whole. It’s simple; spending less on gas means spending more time in the car.

Cheaper Gas Means more Expensive Insurance

So many more drivers on the road, so many more accidents and so many more insurance claims means one big piece of news for drivers; insurance prices are going up. Now that more insurance agencies are paying more money in claims, they need to recoup their losses by charging their customers more. It’s just how the industry works.

You might be excited about the cheaper gas prices, but we can bet you’re not excited about the hike in insurance premiums that have occurred over the course of the past year. Since the beginning of the year, our car insurance has gone up significantly. It’s gone up a staggering $10 per month so far. While that might not seem like a lot of money each month, it’s $120 more per year than I was paying this time last year. Of course, the more expensive insurance rates are certainly a lot less expensive than the more expensive gas.

But let’s look at it this way; when gas prices go back up – and they will eventually – your insurance probably will not go back down to what it was before cheaper gas prices started appearing.

In short, go ahead and take advantage of the lower gas prices at the moment, because eventually this cheap gas is going to take its toll on everyone as the prices rise once again and we are stuck paying more for our gas and our insurance instead of just more for our gas.

And here’s some food for thought; if gas prices are cheaper and people are now driving more, aren’t they very likely still spending more than gas?

Photos by Getty Images


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