Only 23% of drivers now say they think of their car as “something special — more than just a way to get around,” down from 43% in a 1991 Gallup survey. The biggest reason for the cooling of the affair between drivers and their cars isn’t the recent spike in gas prices. Rather, it appears to be the result of a longer term trend — the growing hassle of traffic congestion. At the the same time, however, about three-in-ten (31%) drivers report they at least sometimes think of their car as having a personality of its own. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.