Drivers Fume Over Fuel Prices

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Anuha Tatineni

Senior Kelsey Silberbusch fills up her gas tank, which she says has gotten increasingly expensive with the recent rise in gas prices.

Laziza Talipova, Intro Writer

   This January, junior Benjamin Knight paid just $60 to fill his 2011 Chevy Avalanche up with gas. Today, he pays over $120 for that same tank.

   “It’s crazy that it takes that much to fill up even with the lowest grade,” Knight said.

   A few months ago, gas was at its normality. Now, the gas prices are raised to $4 per gallon. Inflation in the economy is an important part of the cause. The abnormally high gas prices are also due to the ongoing struggles with the Russia-Ukraine war, but it is affecting students greatly.

   Knight drives a truck and he lives 15 minutes away from school. He interns with his parents to have spending money. Knight also has many after school activities like lacrosse. Driving back and forth takes a toll on his gas.

   “It’s hard because especially now that I’m doing lacrosse, I have to drive multiple times a day to get to and from practice, and to and from school,” Knight said.

   Knight’s driving is deeply affected by the gas spike. Usually known to accelerate with speed while driving, Knight now takes more caution to save money. His driving style has changed drastically from carefree to constantly checking his gas tank. Knight is feeling the heat on rationing gas.

   “But it’s definitely gotten harder,” Knight said. “Sometimes, I’ll find that I’m low on money due to gas and it makes me not want to drive.”

   Knight isn’t the only student struggling with the high gas prices. Many working students in the U.S have had to make budget adjustments to afford gas.

   According to Grist, because of the increase in gas prices, 72% of students combined trips together by carpooling, from the 60% a few months ago. Students also used public transportation more regularly by 23% compared to the 14% a couple months back. More and more students are thinking of ways to save money. Gas is starting to become a luxury to some.

   Senior Kelsey Silberbusch is also concerned with the rising costs of gas prices. To provide herself money, she works at the Heathrow Racket Club and as a camp counselor. Silberbusch plays tennis and lives 10 minutes away from school. She drives a 2020 Silver Acura RDX. Even though her car takes the lowest grade of gas, she still struggles with the price.

   “I literally refuse to drive my car sometimes,” Silberbusch said. “Because I can’t afford to get gas.”

   Silberbusch has had to cross certain items off of her budget to afford gas.

   “I had to give up my carwash and I don’t have a carwash subscription anymore,” Silberbusch said. “It’s now gone, because I couldn’t afford it.”

   Not just students, but teachers as well, are feeling the impact of higher gas prices. Math teacher Dr. Barbara Clanton lives in Mount Dora, which is 50 miles away from school. Clanton now drives a hybrid Toyota Prius V just because of the gas prices.

   “It’s just a lot of money, and I have to get gas every week,” Clanton said. “There’s nothing I can do because I have to get to school to work.”

   Silberbusch is not as stressed though. The gas prices are slowly dropping and students like Knight and Silberbusch are thankful for it. But Silberbusch still believes that over time the gas prices will spike again.

  “I just really hope the gas prices go down because I can’t pay for gas this much longer,” Knight said.