The Good in $4 Gas

Less obesity, traffic, and accidents, for starters
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 12:03 PM CDT
A Toyota dealership is shown next to a Shell gas station in San Bruno, Calif., Tuesday, July 1, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The rest of the world may have thought it would never happen, but energy prices are beginning to change Americans' behavior. Time notes some positive aspects:

  1. Jobs lost to globalization return, because energy costs make international shipping unattractive.
  2. Suburban sprawl is slowing as people choose to live closer to cities.
  3. Many firms are switching to four-day workweeks—the practice saved Florida's Brevard College $268,000 over a summer session.
  4. Less pollution as motorists drive less …
  5. …and more frugally, both in how they drive and what they drive.

  1. Driving less and slowing down also reduces traffic accidents and fatalities.
  2. Cheaper insurance—those who mass-transit their commutes fall into the class of “pleasure driver”—with premiums reduced 10%-15%.
  3. Fewer traffic jams.
  4. Increased police foot and bike patrols.
  5. Less obesity, as people walk and bike instead of driving.