Yesterday evening, I was skimming through YouTube highlights of The Dan Patrick Show, something I do rather frequently. It's a sports talk show, but quite often, the hosts find themselves having "would you rather?" debates amongst the staff. During the "Morning Meeting" segment, one of the hosts proposed a question to the others: would you rather have free gas or no traffic for the rest of your life?

In the midst of gas prices rising to historic levels, with little relief in sight as temperatures increase, it's a fascinating hypothetical.

Photo Credit: Dawn McDonald, Unsplash
Photo Credit: Dawn McDonald, Unsplash

On the home-front, the American Automobile Association reports that, as of today (3/25), the average gas price in Iowa is $3.88/gallon. That's still less than the national average of $4.24/gallon. Conversely, Illinoisans are paying $4.49/gallon, well above the national average. Wisconsin finds itself in the middle-ground at $3.95/gallon.

For some additional perspective, Illinois' gas prices are the equivalent of California, Oregon, Nevada, and many other western states.

So back to the hypothetical... what would you opt for, if given the choice? Free gas for life? Or be the only one on your route whenever you had to go somewhere?

I asked my listeners that question on social media today. The overwhelming response was, "FREE GAS!" One caller chimed in with an interesting workaround. He said he'd choose no traffic and purchase an electric car. That's one way to get the best of both worlds.

I'd personally have to agree with the consensus, however. I'd love to see the screen remain at $0.00 as I fill my tank. But the other deciding factor for me is that I'm fortunate enough not to deal with much traffic during my morning commute to work nor my afternoon commute home. For someone who has to face traffic from 30 minutes to over an hour every day, I could easily see them choosing the "no traffic" option in a heartbeat.

What it comes down to is this: almost everyone has to stop at a gas station sooner or later, whereas not everyone deals with road congestion on a regular basis.

If given the option, which would you choose? Feel free to chime in on the Y105 Facebook page!

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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