Gas prices go up and down, but the per-gallon cost is still a lot more than most of us want to pay. There is, however, a silver lining or two in the stormy drama of gas prices. Here are three ways high gas prices have actually had a positive impact:
The high cost of gas has actually made American roads safer, according to a widely reported study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. Nationwide, traffic fatalities between May 2007 and April 2008 dropped more than four percent from the previous year. This decrease was disproportionate to the drop in number of miles traveled and gallons of gas sold for the period, signifying that people are not only driving less — they are driving more safely.
A Chance To Make Money
Speculators and the stock market are favorite scapegoats when politicians try to assign blame for rising gas costs. While there may be some validity, the truth is high gas prices have also opened up opportunities for even the smallest investors opting to get in on the ground floor with companies working to develop alternative fuels. Others are seeing new opportunities in traditional energy sources.
After 9/11, oil and natural gas prices dropped so low that many independent oil companies folded. One small company, Allenergy Inc., started acquiring the leases for more than 150 closed wells on thousands of acres in Kansas and Oklahoma. Now re-opening those wells, Allenergy has increased its production 683 percent from year to year, and is still trading as a penny stock (just as Microsoft did in its early days), making it accessible to investors with even the most modest budget.
Many Americans are taking high gas prices as incentive to do more walking and cycling. Losing just five to ten percent of your total body weight can help prevent or delay obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program.
The environment is also benefiting. Carpools are gaining popularity and bicycle paths are common sights on our roads, too, with many cities now devoting millions of dollars to developing paths.
High gas prices are likely to be with us for a while. But from penny stock opportunities to better health, Americans are finding creative ways to turn adversity into success. ARA CONTENT