The city of Houston is by design a driving city. Traveling from one section of the city to another is near impossible without putting yourself behind the wheel of a car. One aspect of driving that should stand out is the greatly reduced cost drivers are paying at the pump. There are obvious benefits to lower gas prices, such as the affordability to drive more frequently or spend your now available money on goods and services. This in return gives a boost to the economy. However, the current gasoline price decline is not necessarily all positive.
Along with the decrease in gasoline prices comes an increase in driving and an increase in motor vehicle accidents. Guangqing Chi, a sociologist at South Dakota State University, conducted a study in which it was determined that a $2.00 drop in gasoline prices results in approximately 9,000 additional road fatalities per year in the United States.
Chi’s study also found that a decrease in gasoline prices results in more teenagers involved in motor vehicle collisions. This is found to be true when assuming the above theory that lower gas prices equal more vehicles on the road. The same holds true for young drives, lower gas prices equal more teenage drives on the road. Teenage drives are naturally more likely to be involved in a collision due to their young age and lack of experience behind the wheel. The result from the increase in teenage driving is all too often tragic. Chi advises that when you see the price of gasoline fall, you should be more alert and attentive when driving.