Soaring Gas Prices Change Drivers' Habits

Anyone who drives is feeling the pinch of record high gas prices. But it really hurts people who drive for a living, especially those behind the wheel of a big rig.

"It takes $500 to fill up -- $500 will get me 189 gallons and back," said Leon Holmes, who was filling up outside Atlanta to haul a truckload of onions from New Mexico. "Before, when the fuel prices were down, you could probably fill your truck up for like $275."

The prices are making profits tank for others who drive all day. At 66, New York cabbie Jack Rubin said he'd like to slow down, but he's spending more hours than ever behind the wheel -- just to cover the cost of gassing up. Rubin said the cost is an extra $10 to $14 a day.

"And at the end of the day, it adds up," he said. "You're talking about, it's an extra couple of hundred a month for gasoline."

Changing Habits

There is nothing business owners and consumers can do to lower the price of oil on the world markets. But there are a few things to do to soften the punch.

First, shop and compare. In Miami today, regular gas cost $2.81 a gallon at one station, and across town it was just $2.53 a gallon.

"Actually, I come out of my way to come here for the lower gas prices even," Vladimir Fernandez said. "I have to travel a bit to get here, but it's worth it to save a few pennies here and there. It adds up."

There also are now Web sites in most cities, such as www.gasbuddy.com, that help consumers find cheap gas, but they seem to be having trouble keeping up with rapidly rising prices.

One guaranteed way to save on gas is to change driving habits by avoiding high speeds, accelerating slowly, using cruise control and keeping your tires properly inflated.

But for some, changing habits is not enough -- it's time to change cars. Some Americans are losing their passion for big vehicles with bad fuel economy.

In Los Angeles, Ed Garcia stopped by a dealership to look at buying a Toyota Prius, an energy-efficient hybrid that gets more than 50 miles per gallon -- a move he said he's considering due to the rising price of gas.

"I just feel that I need to take a step to protect my pocket and protect the environment," Garcia said.

ABC News' Jeffrey Kofman reported this story for "World News Tonight."

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