Posts Tagged ‘AAA NewsRoom’

Jeanette CasselanoAt 56 percent of gas stations nationwide, consumers can find gas for less than $2.24, which is below today’s national average gasoline price of $2.29/gallon. Across the country, gas prices dropped in all but four states on the week. Prices in South Carolina have fallen below $2/gallon, while California is on the cusp of dropping below $3/gallon. The national average gas price has dropped for 17 consecutive days making today’s price five cents cheaper than both one week and one year ago, and six cents less than one month ago.

While gasoline demand saw new heights for Memorial Day, it has dropped for the first half of June. Meanwhile, high oil production rates in the U.S., coupled with news from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that Libya and Nigeria increased output last month, could lead to gas prices across the nation continuing to fall through the end of June.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest monthly declines: Ohio (-17 cents), Indiana (-16 cents), Oklahoma (-12 cents), Michigan (-12 cents), Kentucky (-8 cents), North Dakota (-8 cents), Pennsylvania (-8 cents), South Carolina (-7 cents), New Mexico (-7 cents) and Texas (-7 cents).

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($1.97), Oklahoma ($1.99), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.06), Missouri ($2.07), Virginia ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.10) and Kansas ($2.11).

West Coast

Still the most expensive gas markets in the country, prices in this region dropped by an average of two cents in every state except Hawaii. That state saw a two cent increase and was one of only two states to see an increase on the week (the other being Utah). Today’s West Coast prices are: Hawaii ($3.06), California ($3.01), Alaska ($2.87), Washington ($2.84) Nevada ($2.70), Oregon ($2.68) and Arizona ($2.29).

Rebounding from the lowest mark of the year last week, gasoline inventories added a strong 1.5 million bbl according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gasoline imports were a major player in the inventory growth, picking up 11,000 b/d. If inventory continue to gain in the region without an increase in demand, prices could continue to drop.

Rockies

Idaho and Utah lead the region with the highest gas prices, ($2.61) and ($2.57) respectively, while also earning a spot on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gasoline. Gas prices are volatile the in region, increasing in Utah (+4 cents), staying flat in Idaho, and dropping in Colorado (-3 cents), Montana (-1 cent) and Wyoming (-1 cent) on the week. The fluctuation of gas prices in the region has been an ongoing trend since May.

Great Lakes and Central States

As gasoline inventory rises for a second straight week, the region is seeing gas prices continue to drop compared to one month and one year ago.  According to the EIA, inventory in the region sits just north of 55 million bbl, which is 4 million bbl more than this time last year.

The region continues to reap the benefit of seeing significantly cheaper gas in most states: Ohio (-38 cents), Indiana (-33 cents), Michigan (-28 cents), Illinois (-24 cents), Wisconsin (-18 cents) Kentucky (-16 cents) and Iowa (-9 cents). The remaining states in the region – Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota – are seeing a moderate drop in gas prices compared to last year, on average four cents year over year. Growing inventory and mediocre demand will allow consumer to continue to reap the benefit of cheap gas prices. 

South and Southeast

The region saw an unexpected 2.4 million bbl build in gasoline inventory, the largest jump on the week in the country by far. As stocks jump, the region’s gas prices drop by an average of four cents. South Carolina ($1.97) became the first state to see its average price at the pump move below $2/gallon. Other states saw similar decreases: Oklahoma ($1.99), Alabama ($2.03), Mississippi ($2.04), Tennessee ($2.05), Arkansas ($2.06) and Louisiana ($2.10).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, on average by 4 cents on the week; however, gas prices vary significantly, by a range of 43 cents, from state to state: Pennsylvania ($2.50), Washington, D.C. ($2.50),  New York ($2.46), Connecticut ($2.46), Vermont ($2.36), New Jersey ($2.33), Rhode Island ($2.32), West Virginia ($2.32), Massachusetts ($2.31), Maine ($2.28), Maryland ($2.27), New Hampshire ($2.24), Delaware ($2.22) North Carolina ($2.15) and Virginia ($2.07). A variety of factors contributes to the varying gasoline price difference, including demand and state gasoline taxes.

Oil Market Dynamics

Still rebounding from last week’s losses, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude opened at just under $45 today. Last week, reports from IEA and OPEC revealed that global crude inventories are still growing. Adding to the oversupply, Libya and Nigeria, which are exempt from OPEC’s production cuts agreement, improved their output by 178,000 and 174,000 b/d, respectively, according to OPEC’s June report. Libyan production is now close to 800,000 b/d – the highest it has been since 2014 – while Nigeria could contribute an additional 200,000 b/d in the near future. Moreover, IEA’s monthly report stated that it expects non-OPEC production for 2017 to grow by 700,000 b/d, with the U.S. leading the way. All of this news left market watchers wondering what steps are needed to reduce supply in the market. Until global crude inventories decline, the price per barrel will likely remain below $50.

Last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. reported that the number of oil rigs has grown in the U.S. for another record-breaking week. After 22 weeks of continued growth, the U.S. now has 747 active oil rigs. Sustained growth in the production sector will lead to more oil in the pipeline for gasoline and other distillates production by refineries. Even as summer gasoline demand grew in previous weeks, it wasn’t a match for the rising tide of crude. It may be only a matter of time before market participants grow impatient with weak rebalancing efforts, leading them to undertake more drastic measures to bring the global supply of oil closer to the demand for refined products. Until then, drivers stand to benefit from the imbalance between oil production and gasoline refinery rates, which continues to push down the price of gas.

 

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Jeanette CasselanoAt $2.34, the national gas price is cheaper today than it was on this day one year ago. The same trend rings true at the pump in 27 states in the southeast and Midwest – many seeing double-digit price drops. More so, in 46 states consumers are paying, on average, three cents less at the pump than a week ago.

The national price drop is due to an unexpected buildup of crude oil last week combined with ongoing high gasoline production runs, an increase in gasoline stocks and a drop in gasoline demand. .  If refiners continue to produce record amounts of gasoline and oversupply the market, consumers will reap the benefit and see slight fluctuations in gasoline prices (+/- a few cents) in coming weeks. However, it is not likely that gas prices will drop much lower than this week’s prices.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the largest yearly declines Ohio (-46 cents), Indiana (-41 cents), Michigan (-35 cents), Illinois (-33 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents), Wisconsin (-19 cents), Oklahoma (-11 cents), Alabama (-10 cents), Tennessee (-10 cents) and West Virginia (-9 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.05), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.08), Arkansas ($2.09) Virginia ($2.12), Missouri ($2.13), Louisiana ($2.14) and Kansas ($2.15).

West Coast

Lately the most expensive gas markets in the country, prices in this region dropped  as much as four cents, with six states paying less for a gallon of gas on the week:  California (-4 cents), Nevada (-2 cents) Oregon (-2 cents), Washington (-2 cent), Hawaii (-1 cent) and Alaska (-1 cent). Gas prices in Arizona remained flat. The regional drop is likely due to easing supply concerns with the operational return of Valero’s Benicia, CA, refinery and the arrival of a U.K. gasoline cargo load in Los Angeles last Friday. However, with West Coast gasoline inventories registering at new low of 28 million barrels (bbl), this week’s supply and demand levels could be an indicator for what consumers will pay for a gallon of gasoline in the region this summer.

Next month, California drivers may see a minor increase at the pump as the state raises its excise tax rate for gasoline by 1.9 cents/gal to 29.7 cents/gal.  The price hike is scheduled for November 1, but retailers can pass on this extra cost to consumers as early as July 1, when the excise tax takes effect, according to the California State Board of Equalization (CSBE).

Rockies

Gas prices are slightly volatile in the region with prices dropping as much as two cents in Colorado and increasing by one cent in Idaho. Montana, Wyoming and Utah remained stable on the week. However, comparing today’s gas prices to one year ago, consumers in the Rockies are paying a lot more at the pump: Idaho (+13 cents), Utah (+12 cents), Montana (+7 cents), Wyoming (+7 cents) and Colorado (+6 cents). As reported last week, fluctuation is likely due to demand increasing in the region ahead of the summer travel season, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Great Lakes and Central States

Following four straight weeks of draws, gasoline inventory is on the rise in the Great Lakes and Central States. According to the EIA, inventory in the region had its biggest one-week increase since the end of January. Sitting at nearly 55 million bbl, inventory is almost 2 million bbl higher than this time last year.

The high inventory is leading to dropping gas prices both on the week and compared to one year ago today. This week, all states are seeing on average a four-cent decrease. Compared to one year ago, six states are seeing significantly cheaper gas: Ohio (-46 cents), Indiana (-41 cents), Michigan (-35 cents), Illinois (-33 cents), Kentucky (-21 cents) and Wisconsin (-19 cents). As inventory grows and demand remains inconsistent, the cheaper gas prices are likely to hold throughout summer in the region.

South and Southeast

The country’s cheapest gas prices continue to be in the south and southeast: South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.05), Alabama ($2.06), Mississippi ($2.07), Tennessee ($2.08), Arkansas ($2.09) and Louisiana ($2.14). In the region, all states saw prices decline at the pump with Florida and Texas dropping the most by four cents. According to the EIA, gasoline inventory increased to nearly 81 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast – NJ up 22

Prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast except Washington, D.C. where prices were flat. The states seeing the biggest weekly declines include Delaware (-6 cents), Maryland (-5 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents). The EIA reports an 800,000-gasoline inventory build last week, bringing the total to nearly 70 million bbl. The build puts the region’s gasoline inventory above year-ago levels. And overall, compared to a year ago, gas prices are mostly reminiscent of last summer except in New Jersey, where prices are 22 cents more, and in West Virginia and Virginia where prices have fallen nine and eight cents respectively. With comparable gas prices to last summer, consumers may feel encouraged to drive more ultimately leading to an increase in demand, which could help dip into the supply levels.

Oil Market Dynamics

The oil market appears to be off to a good start this week, with the price per barrel above $46. The increase comes after last week’s report from the EIA showed surprising numbers in gasoline demand and crude inventories. After setting a record for use during the run-up to Memorial Day weekend, demand tumbled down by approximately 505,000 barrels per day. Market watchers expected to see a post-Memorial Day slump; however, the market was surprised by a strong build in crude inventories – a large increase of 3.3 million barrels. This figure re-emphasized that the market continues to see a substantial glut in crude inventories, resulting in high production rates putting downward pressure on prices per barrel.

At the end of last week, Baker Hughes, Inc. released its latest rig count report, revealing eight oil rigs had been added for the week. The U.S. now has 741 active oil rigs, an impressive number considering global concerns about the oversupply of crude in the market causing prices to trend downward. As expected, the continued growth puts more oil in the pipeline for gasoline production. With refineries still processing a lot of gasoline – measured in EIA’s recent report at over 17.5 million barrels per day – and a drop in demand, gasoline stocks around the country are continuing to grow. Price drops at the pump reflect this trend, and as the summer driving season zooms ahead, U.S. drivers may see drops continue into July and August.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA Spills the Truth on Oil Changes

June 6th, 2017 by AAA

ErinStepp

Synthetic oil performs nearly 50 percent better than conventional oil in AAA’s tests

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 6, 2017) – Making an informed choice about oil changes just got easier, thanks to new research on the quality of engine oil. AAA found that synthetic oil outperformed conventional oil by an average of nearly 50 percent in its independent evaluation, offering vehicles significantly better engine protection for only $5 more per month when following a factory-recommended oil change schedule. To protect vehicle engines, particularly those that operate in extreme conditions, AAA urges drivers to consider a switch to synthetic oil at their next oil change service.

Additional Resources

 “Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.”

While only a limited number of vehicles specifically require synthetic oil, all vehicles can benefit from using synthetic oil. At an oil change service, many drivers are offered a choice between conventional or synthetic oil. However, in a companion AAA nationwide survey of U.S. drivers, 44 percent are either unsure (27 percent) or do not believe (17 percent) that the more expensive synthetic oil is better for a vehicle’s engine. Reasons cited for regularly choosing the cheaper, conventional oil include feeling that synthetic oil is too expensive, offers no benefit, that the upgrade to synthetic oil is an unnecessary up-sell by a repair facility, or they are simply not offered the choice.

Switching from a conventional oil to a synthetic oil will cost the average driver $64 more per year, or an extra $5.33 per month. A survey of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair facilities reveals that the average cost of a conventional oil change is $38, while a synthetic oil change is $70. For those that change their vehicle’s oil themselves, the average cost of 5 quarts of conventional oil is approximately $28, while synthetic oil is $45. AAA’s survey also shows that vast majority (83 percent) of service professionals select synthetic oil for their personal vehicles.

“It’s understandable that drivers may be skeptical of any service that is nearly twice the cost of the alternative,” continued Nielsen. “While a manufacturer-approved conventional oil will not harm a vehicle’s engine, the extra $30 per oil change could actually save money in the long run by protecting critical engine components over time.”

The hesitation to select a synthetic oil may stem from American distrust in repair facilities. Another recent AAA survey found that two-thirds of U.S. drivers do not trust repair facilities, with most citing concern over the recommendation of unnecessary services. Those looking for a trusted repair facility are urged to consider one that meets AAA’s high standards, including, technician certifications, ongoing training, financial stability, facility cleanliness, insurance requirements, rigorous inspections and customer satisfaction through the AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) program. To locate a shop in your area, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.

AAA’s engine oil research focused on eight industry-standard ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) tests to evaluate the quality of both synthetic and conventional engine oils in terms of shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes. At the time of testing, all tested oils were licensed by the American Petroleum Institute and advertised to meet the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee’s GF-5 specifications. When selecting an oil, it is critical to reference the vehicle’s owner’s manual to ensure that the oil meets the exact specifications for that particular engine.

AAA’s full research report, fact sheet and additional supporting materials can be found at NewsRoom.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Jeanette CasselanoNationally, the price of a gallon of gasoline increased one cent to $2.38 from last week; however, the price at the pump in 30 states has fallen as much as four cents. The moderate decline in gasoline prices is typical following a long holiday weekend. Historically, the first three weeks of June generally can indicate whether consumers will sustain gasoline demand into summer months. Today’s national average is two cents more than both a month and year ago.

 

Quick Stats

  • American drivers used a record 413 million gallons/day of gas during the week ending on May 26.
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Florida (+6 cents), Ohio (+6 cents), Utah (+4 cents), Illinois (-4 cents), Delaware (-3 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Oklahoma (-3 cents) and Maryland (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the cheapest gas this week include South Carolina ($2.03), Alabama ($2.09), Oklahoma ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.12), Missouri ($2.12), Virginia ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16) and Kansas ($2.19).

West Coast

Drivers on the West Coast saw moderate declines on the week, except in Arizona where prices increased a penny. Six states in the region earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets: California ($3.09), Hawaii ($3.05), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74) and Oregon ($2.72).

Low combinations of gasoline storage and production levels are generating concern in the region. At 28.2 million bbl, gasoline storage levels are their lowest for the year and reflect a deficit of 1.3 million compared to 2016. In Northern California, planned and unplanned refinery maintenance has negatively affected gasoline production. In May, imports helped the West Coast meet supply demands, but prices could continue to increase in the region until refiners resume normal operations.     

Rockies

Trending higher, gas prices increased in Utah (+4 cents), Idaho (+2 cents) and Wyoming (+2 cents). Holding steady on the top 10 list of most expensive gas markets, Idaho’s average gas price is $2.61. With a four cent gasoline price increase, Utah earned a spot again on the top 10 list of largest weekly increases. Prices increased in Colorado (+1 cent) and remained flat in Montana. Fluctuation is likely due to demand increasing in the region ahead of the summer travel season, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Great Lakes and Central States

Gasoline supply and demand in the Great Lakes and Central States were volatile in May, sending gasoline prices on a roller coaster ride throughout the month. The trend continues into June. While the region saw a moderate level of gasoline inventory draws last week, it appears demand is not consistent and this is causing fluctuation across the region.

In the region, three states are seeing gas prices increase as much as seven cents on the week: Indiana (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents) and Ohio (+6 cents). A week ago, these three states were seeing prices drop seven to six cents. However, compared to one month ago, the trio of states are paying 11 to 13 cents more. Meanwhile, gas prices in eight states decreased as much as four cents, including Illinois (-4 cents), Missouri (-3 cents), Nebraska (-2 cents), Minnesota (-2 cents), and Kansas (-2 cents).

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, gasoline prices are trending lower for the majority of the region with decreases of one to three cents on the week. Prices only increased in Florida (+6 cents), Louisiana (+2 cents) and Texas (+1 cent). This was the only region to see an increase in gasoline storage levels, though moderately, and decrease in crude oil inventory in the country.  

Drivers in Nashville and central Tennessee are likely to see gas prices drop this summer, potentially by as much as six cents a gallon. The drop is due to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) giving the green light for gasoline retailers to switch over to a cheaper-to-produce, higher RVP gasoline for summer months.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Across the region, every state is seeing prices at the pump drop as much as three cents, except in Maine, Vermont, New York and Connecticut where prices remained flat. Pennsylvania ($2.57) and Washington, D.C. ($2.53) earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets, while Virginia ($2.15) joins the top 10 weekly least expensive markets this week.

Oil Market Dynamics

For the second week in a row, the price per barrel of crude opened at less than $50. The opening price shows that the market is expressing serious skepticism about OPEC’s ability to rebalance global supply through its production cuts, which will now last through March 2018. Market watchers are also looking at long-awaited gasoline demand in the US to see if it will grow enough to eat away at ballooning inventories.

The EIA report for the week ending on May 26th showed some encouraging trends related to gasoline demand. It came in at a record of 9.822 million barrels per day (b/d) – 7,000 b/d ahead of the previous record from last June. However, the report also showed that week’s gasoline output from refineries topped 10 million b/d, for the fourth week in a row, and the level was the highest since early November of last year. Strong refinery output rates show that instead of diminishing existing stocks of gasoline to meet demand, refineries are continuing to replenish the gasoline they have in storage with newly produced gasoline. The result is that storage levels still remain high, so refineries can pull stocks from storage to meet higher driver demand without needing more oil to produce higher levels of gasoline.

Moreover, oil production continues to grow in the US. Baker Hughes, Inc. reported in its report last week that oil rigs grew by 11, landing at 733. This record-breaking oil exploration in the US will continue to increase crude inventories. Only time will tell if growing demand for refined products, like gasoline, will begin to chip away at global crude inventories, increasing prices per barrel – which could lead drivers to pay more at the pump.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Tamra Johnson

AAA reveals alarming new teen crash rates as “100 Deadliest Days” begin

 

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2017) – New teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This alarming finding comes as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period.

Additional Resources

“Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “The Foundation’s research found that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study, Rates of Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age, analyzes crash rates per mile driven for all drivers and found that for every mile on the road, drivers ages 16-17 years old are:

  • 9 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a crash
  • 6 times as likely as drivers 18 and older to be involved in a fatal crash
  • 5 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a crash
  • 2 times as likely as drivers 30-59 to be involved in a fatal crash

Fatal teen crashes are on the rise. The number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes increased more than 10 percent from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2015 crash data, the latest data available. To reverse this alarming trend, AAA urges parents to help reduce the number of deadly crashes on the road by getting more involved and talking to their teens about the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel.

“Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling your safety belt.”

Three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teen drivers are:

  • Distraction: Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.
  • Not Buckling Up: In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a safety belt. Teens who buckle up significantly reduce their risk of dying or being seriously injured in a crash.
  • Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A recent AAA survey of driving instructors found that speeding is one of the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive.

 To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:

  • Have conversations with their teens early and often about distraction and speeding.
  • Teach by example and minimize risky behavior when driving.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.

TeenDriving.AAA.com has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season. The online AAA StartSmart program also offers great resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills. AAA also offers membership discounts for new teen drivers to help keep them safe on the road in case of an emergency.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www.AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA: As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

 

Jeanette CasselanoToday’s national average is $2.37 – one cent more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and five cents more than a year ago. Rising gasoline demand has resulted in dropping gasoline inventories across the country, according to the latest Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report. Last week, U.S. demand for gasoline jumped 252,000 b/d to 9.7 million b/d, the highest level this year, while gasoline inventories dropped by 800,000 barrels (bbl). If the trend continues, consumers can expect to see summer gasoline prices potentially return to the high prices seen in April, when the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.42.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Ohio (-7 cents), Utah (+6 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Missouri (+5 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Iowa (+4 cents), Maryland (+4 cents) and Colorado (+4 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas include: California ($3.10), Hawaii ($3.07), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74), Oregon ($2.73), Idaho ($2.59), Pennsylvania ($2.58), Washington, D.C. ($2.55) and Connecticut ($2.51).
  • Gasoline prices vary significantly within the country due to, among other factors, regional supply and demand, gasoline specification requirements and taxes.

West Coast

Drivers in California are seeing the largest weekly increases (+ 4 cents). Regionally, prices fluctuated between +2 cents and –1 cent on the week. Every state earned a spot on the top 10 weekly list of the most expensive markets: California ($3.10), Hawaii ($3.07), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.87), Nevada ($2.74) and Oregon ($2.73).

Trickling into June is the region’s supply concerns sparked by May’s unplanned and planned refinery maintenance in the region. Gasoline inventories remain relatively unchanged (from the week prior) and at a two-month low while total West Coast gasoline production fell to a three-week low.

Rockies

Idaho leads the region for the highest gas prices, increasing + 4 cents to $2.59, and also lands on this week’s top 10 list of most expensive markets. With a +6 cents increase, Utah earned a spot on the top 10 list of largest weekly increases. Meanwhile, other states in the region saw penny increases at the pump: Colorado (+4 cents), Wyoming (+1 cent) and Montana (+1 cent).

Great Lakes and Central States

The region continues to see the most volatility of any market in the country. Prices dropped by as much as seven cents in some states while increasing by four cents in others. Despite seeing increases ahead of Memorial Day weekend, Ohio (-7 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents) and Kentucky (-3 cents) are all posting cheaper gas prices than a week ago, while Missouri (+5 cents), Kansas (+4 cents), Iowa (+4 cents), Wisconsin (+4 cents), Minnesota (+3 cents) and Nebraska (+2 cents) all saw prices increase on the week.  

While the state of Ohio mostly saw gasoline price increases in May, Southwest Ohio drivers can expect to see lower summer gasoline prices thanks to a switch to higher RVP (volatility) gasoline, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). In April, the EPA approved the removal of Ohio’s low RVP fuel requirements previously required for summertime (June 1 to Sept. 15) in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas – allowing these markets to use higher RVP gasoline in summer months. The low RVP fuel requirements are no longer the cost-effective approach for reducing ozone as when the program was initiated, according to Ohio EPA.

South and Southeast

In the South and Southeast, gasoline prices are up to 33 cents below the national average. South Carolina ($2.04) tops the weekly list of cheapest markets and even saw a decrease (-6 cents) on the week. With the exception of South Carolina, prices in the region are trending slightly higher on the week: Georgia (+3 cents), Arkansas (+2 cents), Tennessee (+2 cents), Mississippi (+1 cent) and Louisiana (+1 cent).


 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Growing demand for gasoline pressured pump prices higher across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Delaware (+6 cents) and Maryland (+4 cents) saw the biggest price increases while Pennsylvania ($2.58), Washington, D.C. ($2.55), Connecticut ($2.51) and New York ($2.51) all made the top 10 list of largest weekly increases.

OPIS reports that next year, Pittsburgh drivers could see a drop in summer gasoline prices as the state considers switching to a cheaper-to-produce, higher RVP gasoline for summer months. The switch could occur as early as summer 2018 and is similar to the decision made by Ohio’s EPA.

 

Oil Market Dynamics

The price per barrel of crude oil opened at less than $50 on Tuesday morning. The market remains lukewarm after last Thursday’s meeting with OPEC and non-OPEC producers regarding an extension of production cuts failed to generate more pronounced actions from the cartel. Although the group agreed to extend the cuts through March 2018, market watchers were not surprised by the move and hoped that OPEC would take more drastic measures, like deepening the cuts beyond 1.8 million barrels per day. In advance of the heavily traveled Memorial Day weekend, the market made some gains on Friday that helped to narrow the market’s losses after OPEC’s meeting.

OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market continue to be thwarted by rising oil production in the US. According to Baker Hughes, Inc., drillers in the US added two rigs last week, marking 19 weeks of continued growth and landing at an eye-popping 722 rigs. The number is the highest since April 2015. The bright spot in the market is the advent of summer, which typically sees more drivers on the road and usually leads to greater demand reducing gasoline inventories in the US. Elevated demand would require refineries to deplete ever-increasing stocks in storage to make more gasoline and other refined products. After last week’s EIA data showed that gasoline demand in the US is increasing, market watchers will look at this week’s report to see if the trend continues.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Jeanette CasselanoHeading into Memorial Day weekend, gas prices are increasing for the first time in four weeks. Today’s national average is $2.36/gallon – two cents more than a week ago, six cents less than a month ago, but eight cents more than a year ago. The increases are likely the result of rising demand and crude oil prices. At least 36 states saw price increases on the week, with national gasoline inventories dropping by 400,000 bbl to 240.7 million.

AAA projects that more than 34 million Americans are planning to take a road trip this Memorial Day weekend– which is 800,000 more drivers than last year. The rise in road travel could pressure pump prices to continue to increase into the summer months, potentially returning to the higher national averages seen in April.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), California (+8 cents), Indiana (+6 cents), Delaware (+4 cents), Nevada (+4 cents), Wisconsin (+3 cents), Oklahoma (+3 cents), South Carolina (+3 cents) and Kentucky (+3 cents).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73), Nevada ($2.72), Pennsylvania ($2.57), Idaho ($2.54), Washington, D.C. ($2.54) and Connecticut ($2.50).

 

West Coast

The West Coast continues to be the most expensive region in the country, with every state landing on the top 10 list of most expensive markets: California ($3.06), Hawaii ($3.06), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.72).

Drivers in California are now paying more than $3/gal at the pump, 20 cents more than last year. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report shows West Coast gasoline stocks dropped for the third consecutive week to 29.1 million bbl, the lowest mark in eight weeks. Refinery maintenance at Phillips 66’s Carson refinery, Valero’s Benicia refinery and Tesoro’s Golden Eagle and Carson refineries are all contributing to growing supply concerns. Early June scheduled gasoline deliveries from Europe, via New York Harbor, and from the Caribbean, could help increase regional supplies.

Rockies

Drivers in Idaho ($2.54) are paying the highest gas prices in the region and +18 cents more than the national average. It is not uncommon for prices in the Rockies to surpass the national average. According to the latest EIA report, the Rockies lead the nation for low demand and gasoline stocks are down to 7.7 million bbl, the lowest in the country.

Since January, all states in the Rockies have seen gas prices rising steadily. Utah has seen the biggest fluctuation in price. On its most expensive day in April, gas prices were +31 cents higher than the cheapest price posted on January 1, 2017.

Great Lakes and Central States

Ohio (+10 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Indiana (+6 cents) and Wisconsin (+3 cents) all top the list of largest weekly increases. The increases are in-line with growing national demand and the region’s drop in gasoline inventory. Great Lakes and Central States inventories dropped by 1.5 million bbl, the biggest draws in the country. The region is sitting on 53.5 million bbl of stock, which is about 700,000 bbl higher than a year ago.

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast touts gasoline prices below the national average, including: South Carolina ($2.05), Mississippi ($2.08), Alabama ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.10), Oklahoma ($2.10), Missouri ($2.10) and Louisiana ($2.13).

The Gulf Coast saw the largest build on gasoline inventories in the country, 1.1 million bbl, pushing stocks just above the 80 million bbl mark. Despite the increase in stocks, a few states experienced jumps in gas prices at the pump on the week up to +3 cents: South Carolina, Oklahoma and Kentucky. Even with the build, this part of the region holds a year-on-year deficit of just under 3 million bbl.

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states saw gas prices fluctuate, with increases up to four cents in some areas: Delaware (+ 4 cents), Maryland (+3 cents), Washington, D.C. (+3 cents), West Virginia (+3 cents) and New Jersey (+2 cents); while others saw prices drop or remain stable: Pennsylvania (-1 cent) and Vermont (-1 cent).

Compared to the previous week’s gain of 2.6 million bbl, this week’s addition of only 400,000 bbl likely impacted the wide range in gasoline price changes (+4 cents to -1 cents) in the region. With this week’s growth, the region’s stocks are the second highest in the country at just above the 70 million bbl threshold, but not above the all-time high of 76 million bbl in mid-February.

Pennsylvania ($2.57), Washington, D.C. ($2.54), Connecticut ($2.50) and New York ($2.50) continue to lead the region with the highest gas prices.

 

 

Oil Market Dynamics

After a strong finish to last week’s trading, crude made strong gains on Monday morning and stayed above $50/bbl. The jump is due to a weaker dollar and comes ahead of OPEC’s meeting on Thursday in Austria to discuss extending the already agreed upon production cuts through the remainder of the year – and possibly through the first quarter of 2018. In fact, OPEC is seeking to include additional countries in the agreement to deepen its impact on the global market, as Iran and smaller export nations examine potential cuts.

Only time will tell if OPEC’s actions will curtail growing inventories, especially as the U.S. continues to benefit from historic rates of exploration. Last week, according to Baker Hughes, Inc., oil rigs in the US are up 8 to 720. Unprecedented growth in the exploration sector will continue to put new oil in the production pipeline for refineries. If gas prices continue to increase, refiners will capitalize on the potential to expand profit margins and continue producing record amounts of gasoline. With Memorial Day around the corner, these dynamics and growing demand could lead to higher prices at the pump for road travelers. 

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

Jeanette CasselanoToday’s national average is $2.34/gallon. This price is a penny cheaper than one week ago, seven cents less than a month ago, but +12 cents more than a year ago. The latest Energy Information Association (EIA) report shows that gasoline demand increased by 252,000 barrels on the week. Despite the jump in demand, the continued oversupply of gasoline caused prices in most parts of the country to drop or remain steady with the exception of some states in the Great Lakes and Central regions, where prices increased by a penny or more.

In coming weeks, the onset of summer travel is likely to increase demand which might help dip into high gasoline stocks; however, it may not be enough demand to increase prices significantly.

National Average Gas Price Comparison 2014-2017

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top ten markets with the most expensive gas: Hawaii ($3.06), California ($2.98), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.68), Pennsylvania ($2.57), Idaho ($2.54), Washington, D.C. ($2.51) and New York ($2.50).
  • The nation’s top ten markets with the biggest changes in the last week include: Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Delaware (-5 cents), Kentucky (+5 cents), Florida (-5 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Alabama (-4 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents).

Top Ten Largest Weekly Declines in Gas Prices

West Coast

Hawaii ($3.06), California ($2.98), Alaska ($2.90), Washington ($2.88), Oregon ($2.73) and Nevada ($2.68) lead the nation with the highest gas prices. Demand in the region continues to dip into seasonally high inventories, but not enough to deplete the unseasonably high gasoline stocks. Despite dropping 388,000 bbl last week, gasoline stocks are sitting close to a high of 30 million bbl.

Down time at the Valero Benicia refinery coupled with potential month-end work at Tesoro’s 166,000-b/d Martinez, Calif., refinery are creating supply concerns in the region. A drop in supply could potentially move prices higher in the coming weeks.

Rockies

In the Rockies, Utah’s gas prices fell two cents since last week, while Montana and Colorado saw just a penny decline. Wyoming and Idaho remained flat. With gas prices ringing in at $2.54, Idaho lands on this week’s top ten cities with the most expensive gas prices. According to the latest EIA report, the region’s gasoline stocks are at 7 million bbl- the lowest in the entire country.

Great Lakes and Central States

Despite high gasoline stocks in the regions, five states saw price increases on the week: Indiana (+9 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Michigan (+7 cents), Illinois (+2 cents) and Minnesota (+1 cent). The region is carrying 55 million bbl in gasoline stocks- 2 million bbl more than this same time last year.  

South and Southeast

Every state in the South and Southeast saw prices decline on the week, with the exception of Kentucky (+5 cents). Consumers can find the cheapest gas in the country in this region, with eight states landing on the top 10 weekly list of least expensive markets: South Carolina ($2.01), Oklahoma ($2.07), Alabama ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.09), Arkansas ($2.10), Louisiana ($2.12) and Missouri ($2.12).

The Gulf Coast saw a small dip in gasoline stocks last week and is the only region where current gasoline stocks (79.2 million) are below levels posted during this same time last year (83.1 million).

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states continued to see prices at the pump decline, notably Delaware (-5 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents) and Pennsylvania (-4 cents). Even with the price drop, Pennsylvania held its spot on the country’s top 10 list of most expensive markets along with Washington, D.C. ($2.51) and New York ($2.50).  Ranked as the 11th most expensive state this week, Connecticut is just as pricey at $2.50.

With a 2.6 million bbl increase, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were the only regions in the country to see a jump in gasoline stocks, according to EIA data. This jump likely contributed to declines on the week.

Top Ten Largest Yearly Increases in Gas Prices

Oil Market Dynamics

On Monday morning, U.S. petroleum futures were just below $50 per barrel. Prices rallied after officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia announced that they plan to extend production cuts into March 2018. This news comes after OPEC released its May report, which warns that the global oil market will not rebalance by the end of the year unless there is a collective effort from all oil producers to increase market stability.

OPEC is expected to draft a formalized production cut extension during its meeting in Vienna, Austria, on May 25. However, there is skepticism that any extended cuts will offset growing U.S. production. Last week, U.S. drillers added an additional nine oilrigs, bringing the total U.S rig count to 712 and marking 17 weeks of growth. The expected result of OPEC’s actions is far from certain. Until it is, drivers may continue to benefit at the pump – even during the typically more expensive summer driving season.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

 

Mariam AliHarris Poll EquiTrend® study names AAA Insurance the highest ranked brand among competitors, based on 2017 Equity Score

ORLANDO, Fla., [May 15, 2017]AAA Insurance has earned “Brand of the Year” status for its property and casualty insurance offerings, according to the prestigious 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

“AAA is thrilled to be recognized as the top property and casualty insurance brand by American consumers,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall L. Doney. “This award helps further distinguish AAA as a trusted insurance provider with excellent customer service and quality products.”

Using an academically-vetted brand equity model that examines familiarity, quality and purchase consideration, the annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® survey captures and analyzes more than 100,000 American opinions on more than 4,000 brands across nearly 450 different industry categories. Brand perceptions, such as emotional connection, functional attributes, brand awareness, influence and familiarity are measured and ranked against key competitors in each category.

“For more than a century, AAA has been proud to offer American consumers insurance they can depend on,” Doney said. “Our outstanding products and services help Americans prepare for life’s unexpected events that occur at home or on the road.”

AAA Auto & Home Insurance received the highest numerical Equity Score among Property & Casualty insurance brands included in the 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study, which is based on opinions of 102,617 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online between December 30, 2016 and February 21, 2017. Individual opinions may differ. “Highest Ranked” was determined by a pure ranking of a sample of property and casualty insurance brands.

Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

For more information about AAA Insurance, visit a local AAA club, or online at AAA.com.

Mariam Ali Contact TileAmerican drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – This summer, AAA expects to rescue 7 million American drivers, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues. This number could soar higher, with a AAA survey revealing that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations. With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, AAA reminds drivers to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip.  

Additional Resources

“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Cliff Ruud, AAA’s managing director of AAA Automotive. “Having a disabled vehicle is a stressful and dangerous situation, which is why AAA urges drivers to stock an emergency kit, have their battery tested and inspect tires to make certain their cars are in road-ready condition.”

Unfortunately, AAA has found that many drivers are unprepared for roadside emergencies. Survey data shows that two-thirds of American drivers have never proactively had their car battery tested, 1 in 5 do not know how to change a tire and 4 in 10 do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle.

Other findings from AAA’s 2017 roadside assistance data show:

  • Dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are top reasons that members call AAA during the summer.
  • While more than half of members’ problems are resolved at the roadside by AAA, more than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require a tow to a repair facility.
  • With low-profile tires and the elimination of spare tires, many newer vehicles are especially susceptible to roadside trouble.

“Roadside breakdowns continue to rise each year and can be a safety hazard for everyone on the road,” continued Ruud. “AAA is ready to help when vehicle troubles leave you stranded, however, travelers can minimize their risk by planning ahead and preparing properly.”

AAA offers the following tips to help avoid common roadside problems:

  • Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing for AAA members.
  • Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets.
  • Prevent lockouts. Always take keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Additionally, AAA reminds drivers to take the following safety precautions on the road:

  • Drive distraction-free. Do not text or engage in distracting activities while driving, including interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle.
  • Comply with the Move Over Law. Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
  • Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.

Before hitting the road, AAA recommends that drivers download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch. Travelers can use the app to request AAA roadside assistance, route a trip, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, book a hotel, and more. AAA members can also track the location of their assigned service vehicle in real time with Service Tracker. Learn more at AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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