Plan on loading up that station wagon for a road trip this summer? You may want to think about dumping the non-essentials so your vehicle runs as light and as gas-efficient as possible. Fuel prices across the United States are running high this summer and gas prices have already topped $4/gal, with some places nearing $5/gal and experts predicting that some stations may end up charging as much as $6/gal— not exactly good news for American drivers, who usually enjoy lower, non-volatile gas prices.
But are things as really as bad as the media makes it out to be? Sure, we’re still recovering from the throes of a long economic recession and generally speaking we rely too much on foreign oil, but let’s face it: things could be worse. A lot worse. According to this nifty infographic from Treehugger, gas prices in the United States are about average compared to the rest of the world. We pay a lot more than oil-saturated Saudi Arabia — who pay about 60¢ per gallon, or oil-soaked Venezuela — who pay a ridiculous 10¢ a gallon; but then again we could be living in Norway or The Netherlands, where gas taxes keep prices at around $9/gal in both countries.
Of course, there are respective disadvantages and advantages to living in places with cheap or exorbitant gas prices. Saudi Arabia and Venezuela may have cheap prices at the pump, but in both places you’re twice as likely to be killed in a car accident. Norway and The Netherlands may break your bank, but they offer superb and efficient public transportation.
So, to recap: America has average gas prices, average car accident rates, and average public transportation, which means that we’re no better or no worse than anyone else! However, if there’s one thing we dominate, it’s in producing movies about our collective love of the road trip. Three cheers for the U-S-A!