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Paying At The Pump Is Taking Up More Of Motorists' Paychecks, AAA Says

Gas prices continue to plague motorists in the tristate area.
Gas prices continue to plague motorists in the tristate area. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

Motorists will spend nearly $100 more per month on gas to fill up at the pump this summer, as compared to a year ago, according to a AAA study.

Consumers are spending $69 more monthly, on average, since the summer of 2017. According to AAA, gasoline expenses account for 7 percent of an American’s annual income, a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago.

With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, AAA stated that motorists can expect little relief at the pump with the national gas price average ranging between $2.85 and $3.05 nationally through Labor Day.

Officials said that “in the coming weeks, prices may be affected further by OPEC’s possible decision to lift supply limits under a 2017 agreement with its partners. That agreement, an attempt to balance the global market, expires at year’s end. However, cartel members may decide to lift those limits before the agreement expires.”

That decision is expected on June 22.

Nationally, the average price at the pump averages at $2.90, up 58 cents from a year ago.

The tristate area is still one of the most expensive places to buy gas in the country, with an average of $3.06 in New York and $12 in Connecticut, both down a few cents from a week ago.

Despite the increase in prices, a AAA survey conducted earlier this year found that only one in three respondents said that they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3, while half said that their breaking point would be $3.50 a gallon.

“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season, but that won’t stop them from traveling. Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation and we are not going to see Americans are giving up this pastime this year,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano stated.

“The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance. While others may pinch pennies by eating out less or finding more free family-fun activities while on vacation.”

For when you are behind the wheel this summer, AAA offers these tips to improve your driving to get better gas mileage:

  • Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
  • Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

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