While people who drive out of necessity are understandably upset about high gas prices, the real enthusiast driver recognizes the positives. Artificially low fuel prices have subsidized an American automotive lifestyle out-of-sync with the needs and desires of serious drivers. And although we're not happy to be forking over the dimes for premium fuel, we've got five reasons the enthusiast is happy the era of cheap gas is over.
5. Less Congestion
Higher gas prices mean fewer people driving and more people taking public transit or telecommuting. The most obvious benefit for the real driver is that it opens up the road to those who travel for fun by removing those who merely commute out of necessity. This results in less traffic and, not surprisingly, fewer traffic fatalities, thanks in part to people keeping their Suburbans in the garage. Safer, emptier roads are something all drivers want, but real drivers need.
4. Better Cars
After years of racing to see who could build the largest vehicles, automakers are finally looking to see who can build more efficient vehicles. The technologically advanced Fisker Karma could only exist in the land of expensive gas, and the same is true for the beautiful and powerful Audi R8 diesel. The new Eco Elise not only gets better mileage that a stock Elise, it's also faster. Those are only a couple of examples. There's more on the way, if what Wert had to say at Popular Mechanics a couple months ago is any indication.