Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

JulieHall

Busy year-end holidays will be marked by more travelers than ever on record

ORLANDO, Fla., (December 16, 2014) – AAA projects 98.6 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million people who traveled last year. This upward trend marks the highest forecast growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period on record. (AAA data dates back to 2001.) The year-end holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 to Sunday, January 4.

Highlights from 2014/2015 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast:

  • Holiday travel is expected to total 98.6 million, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million who traveled last year.
  • Travel volume for the year-end holidays will reach the highest peak recorded by AAA (since 2001).
  • Nearly 91 percent of all travelers (89.5 million) will celebrate the holidays with a road trip, an increase of 4.2 percent from 2013.
  • Air travel is forecast to grow one percent from 2013, with 5.7 million travelers taking to the skies.
  • Low gas prices continue to help boost disposable income this holiday season, with today’s national average price of gas at $2.53 per gallon, 70 cents less than a year ago.

Additional Resources

“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will join with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “While the economy continues to improve at an uneven pace, it seems more Americans are looking forward with increasing consumer confidence, rather than looking back at the recession. This is helping to drive expected travel volumes to the highest level we have seen for the year-end holidays.”

“Lower gas prices are filling stockings with a little more cash to spend on travel this year as travelers are expected to pay the lowest prices since 2009,” continued Doney. “Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to set aside money for travel this year.”

The calendar is having a positive effect on the number of travelers expected this year. This year the holidays land on a Thursday, creating a holiday travel season that is one day longer than last year’s and the longest since 2008, offering travelers more options for departures and return trips. This flexibility makes it possible for more people to fit holiday travel into their schedules.

With more than 90 percent of holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA urges everyone on the road to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving. According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, one in eight of all licensed drivers who drink at least occasionally reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.

The survey also reveals 91 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable, with 42 percent reporting that drunk drivers are a bigger problem today versus three years ago.  “Despite the ubiquitous warnings about drinking and driving, especially during the holiday season, an average of one alcohol-impaired driving death occurs every 45 minutes,” said Doney.

AAA works year-round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and injuries.  PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

Today’s national average price of gasoline is at the lowest level in five years and 70 cents lower than last year, a welcome gift for holiday travelers. Gas prices have fallen for 82 days in a row, helping to increase Americans’ disposable income 3.5 percent from year-ago levels, which has had a positive effect on travel.

Hotel, car rental rates rise modestly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $143 per night compared to $138 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen five percent with an average cost of $108 per night. Daily car rental rates will average $66, four percent higher than last year.

Airfares fall seven percent this year, driven by low-cost carriers

Average discounted round-trip airfares across 40 top domestic routes are expected to fall seven percent this year, to $186. This is influenced by the availability of discounted rates from low-cost carriers in several top markets. AAA encourages travelers to consider the full cost of a ticket when purchasing air travel, as many airlines charge ancillary fees for checked bags, meals, priority boarding and seat assignments.

AAA expects to rescue 1.1 million motorists this holiday season

Between December 23 and January 4, AAA expects to come to the rescue of more than 1.1 million motorists with the primary reasons for breakdowns being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists check battery and tire condition and prepare vehicles for winter driving before heading out on a holiday getaway. Car care tips and information are available at AAA.com.

AAA offers travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning on the go include the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

On AAA.com, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using the TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s collection of downloadable eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones is available free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from 101 top North American destinations including city titles, like the award-winning Las Vegas, and regions like Wine Country and national parks.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2014 Year-End Travel Forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.

 

Pump Prices Likely Below $2.50 by Christmas

December 15th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 15, 2014) Holiday cheer has come early for the motoring public, with the average for retail gasoline at its lowest level in more than five years. Today’s national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $2.55 per gallon. The average price at the pump is more than a dime (-12 cents) less than one week ago and more than a quarter (-36 cents) less than a month ago. The national average is down 69 cents from this same date last year and has now dropped on 81 consecutive days for a total of 80 cents during this stretch. Motorists are paying $1.15 less than the peak 2014 price, which was $3.70 on April 8. AAA estimates drivers are saving more than $400 million dollars each day compared to the high prices paid earlier this year.

 Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

The average price at the pump has fallen nearly 25 percent since the start of the year, and if the global price of crude continues to register new multiyear lows, these lower prices are likely to persist. Barring any unexpected spikes in global prices, or declines in domestic production, the price at the pump should remain relatively low approaching the New Year and into 2015.

Every state in the continental United States is posting an average price below the $3.00 per gallon benchmark. Hawaii ($3.70) and Alaska ($3.39), as is often the case, are the nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline and of the lower 48 states drivers in the northeast are paying the most per gallon:  New York ($2.98), Connecticut ($2.90) and Washington, D.C. ($2.90). The nation’s least expensive markets are the Midwestern states of Missouri ($2.25) and Oklahoma ($2.29), closely followed by the Gulf Coast states of Texas ($2.33) and Mississippi ($2.33).

 10-least-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-12-15-14

The impact of falling global oil prices for consumers is abundantly clear in the retail gasoline market with prices lower nationwide on the week, month and year. The price at the pump is down by a nickel or more week-over-week in every state and Washington, D.C. Forty-one states are registering savings of a dime or more, and the most dramatic savings are in Idaho (-22 cents), Michigan (-20 cents), Ohio (-19 cents) and Indiana (-19 cents). Drivers in Michigan (-56 cents), Idaho (-54 cents) Indiana (-51 cents) and South Dakota (-50 cents) are saving the most on a month-over-month basis. The price in every state has dropped by twenty cents or more during this span.

Yearly comparisons continue to reflect even more extreme discounts at the pump, largely due to the price of crude setting new multi-year lows.  With the exception of Hawaii (-22 cents) and Alaska (-29 cents), the price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. by more than 35 cents versus this same date last year. Forty-two states are posting a discount of 50 cents or more per gallon year-over-year and drivers in 20 states are saving 70 cents or more. The largest savings are in Florida (-80 cents), Maine (-79 cents) and Kentucky (-79 cents).

 Top10-Weekly-Savings-12-15-14

Concerns of sluggish global oil demand combined with abundant supply continue to leave global oil markets searching for a bottom. Just two months ago market watchers were divided on the likelihood that the prices of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) would fall below $80 per barrel. Last week, for the first time since 2009, the price of WTI dropped below $60. WTI is now approximately 40 percent cheaper than the start of the year and nearly 50 percent below the high in June ($107.26). The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to maintain production levels, and the cartel’s three biggest members are reportedly ramping up exports to Asia in an effort to sustain market share in that region. Reductions in global oil prices have ultimately meant a welcome savings at the pump for motorists; however sustained low prices could impact U.S. production, which is more expensive than its global counterparts. Market watchers are also beginning to consider the potential for geopolitical instability in countries that are heavily dependent on oil exports to balance their budgets, including Venezuela and Nigeria. WTI was down $2.14 to settle at $57.81 per barrel on Friday at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.

Erin SteppAAA Advises Drivers to Know the Limits When Using Blind Spot and Lane Departure Systems

ORLANDO, Fla., (December 9, 2014) – AAA’s Automotive Engineering experts are confident new advanced driver assistance technologies like blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems have great potential to keep drivers safer, as long as motorists are aware of system limitations.  As part of AAA’s auto technology series, these two systems were recently evaluated. While the systems performed effectively in multiple situations, this evaluation uncovered scenarios where the systems failed to perform as expected. This included delayed warnings by the blind-spot monitoring technologies and lane-departure warning systems failing to track the lane under certain road conditions.

AAA’s research, conducted with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, found that:

  • Blind-spot monitoring systems had difficulty detecting fast-moving vehicles – such as when merging onto a busy highway. Alerts were often provided too late for evasive action.
  • Motorcycles were detected by blind-spot monitoring systems 26 percent later than passenger vehicles.
  • Road conditions were often a problem for lane-departure warning systems. Worn pavement markers, construction zones and intersections can cause the lane-departure warning system to lose track of lane location.
  • The litany of alerts and warnings could be confusing.  Auditory, visual or haptic responses – or a combination – could be similar to other advanced driver assistance features that delivered the same warnings.

Additional Resources

“With nearly three-quarters of 2014 vehicles offering blind-spot detection and 50 percent offering lane-departure warning as options, it’s key that consumers are educated on how to get the best benefit from these systems,” says John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering. “AAA’s tests found that these systems are a great asset to drivers, but there is a learning curve.”

Test-track and on-road evaluations also highlighted system performance differences between test vehicles. “Some blind-spot monitoring systems we tested had a short detection range, which meant that a vehicle was already in the blind spot before the alert came on,” says Megan McKernan, Manager of Automotive Engineering at the Automobile Club of Southern California. “The lane-departure warning system on several vehicles experienced false-positive and miss-detections, which resulted in an inconsistent driver warning.  This can be annoying and could result in the driver disabling the system due to the false alerts.”

Pros and cons aside, motorists will encounter advanced driver assistance technology as automakers cascade these devices across vehicle lines. Being aware of these systems and understanding how they operate is a necessary step before driving the vehicle.

“As travelers head out for holiday visits, they may be renting a vehicle equipped with blind-spot monitoring or lane-departure warning systems,” says Nielsen. “It’s important to take the time to review these systems so that you’re prepared for alerts and warnings and understand the limits of the technology.”

In addition to AAA’s Automotive Engineering evaluation of these systems, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has also provided an assessment of lane-departure warning systems, along with six other advanced technologies, in the August 2014 report Evaluating Technologies Relevant to the Enhancement of Driver Safety. Conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, this study rates not only the potential for lane-departure systems to reduce crash fatalities but also rates how this advanced driver technology has actually performed based on the limited data currently available.  Motorists can review the AAA Foundation’s rating for new in-vehicle technologies, along with extensive informational material, at https://www.aaafoundation.org/ratings-vehicle-safety-technology.

Additional information regarding AAA’s research on blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems is available on the AAA Newsroom.

AAA conducts proprietary research to better understand and communicate to members the implications of automotive technology, design and functionality.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, December 8, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline could test $2.50 by Christmas, and likely will fall to the lowest level since 2009 in a matter of days. Today’s average of $2.67 per gallon is the least expensive since Feb. 23, 2010. As crude oil costs continue to slide, gas prices are poised to fall even further in the next several weeks. The price at the pump has already tumbled by more than one dollar ($1.03) since the 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon in April. The national average has dropped a dime from one week ago, 27 cents from one month ago and 60 cents per gallon from the same date last year.

Average-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

The average price for retail gasoline historically declines from fall into winter due to a number of factors including decreased demand. Consumers can expect to see the price at the pump tick lower as we approach the New Year, however, crude oil would have to fall by another $25 to $30 per barrel to cause the national average to drop below the $2.00 per gallon threshold this winter, which remains unlikely. The price of oil accounts for approximately two-thirds of the price at the pump, and a $10 per barrel drop in the price of crude oil results in about a 25-cent drop in retail prices for motorists.
Plentiful global crude oil supplies continue to be a primary contributing factor to falling averages nationwide. Forty-six states and Washington, D.C. are reporting prices below the $3.00 per gallon threshold. More than half (six) of the nation’s 10 most expensive markets are registering averages less than this benchmark, including Vermont and California where motorists are paying less than $3.00 per gallon for the first time since 2010. The nation’s most expensive markets are Hawaii ($3.78) and Alaska ($3.44), followed by the Northeastern states of New York ($3.08) and Connecticut ($3.02). Consumers in Missouri are paying the least per gallon to refuel their vehicles at $2.37 per gallon. While it is still unlikely that any state’s average will fall below $2.00 per gallon, there are individual stations in these cheapest markets where motorists can currently fill up for less than $2.00.

10-Most-Expensive-Avg-Gas-Prices-12-08-14

Week-over-week, the price of gasoline is down by a nickel or more in every state and Washington, D.C. The Midwestern states of Michigan (-19 cents), Indiana (-16 cents) and Ohio (-16 cents) are posting the most dramatic savings over this period, and lead the pack of 19 states where motorists are experiencing a weekly discount of a dime or more per gallon.

With the exception of Delaware (-9 cents), the average price at the pump has tumbled more than a dime in every state and Washington, D.C. over the past month. Motorists in twenty-seven states are enjoying month-over-month savings of a quarter or more with the largest savings in South Dakota (-45 cents), Oklahoma (-45 cents), Missouri (-41 cents) and Minnesota (-41 cents).

Yearly comparisons continue to reflect the most extreme drops in the price at the pump. Not only is the average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C. from this date in 2013, but consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia are saving more than a quarter per gallon, and 35 states and D.C. are saving 50 cents or more per gallon.

Top10-Yearly-Savings-12-08-14

Global oil markets are still struggling to find a bottom since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to sustain production levels. Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate reached their lowest levels in five years on Friday and this continues to mean cheaper gasoline at the pump for drivers. In an attempt to protect its share of the global market, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s second largest member, is sustaining its recent price cuts and is offering barrels of oil at prices not seen in at least 14 years. This move could possibly put pressure on U.S. crude production, which is at its highest level in 30 years, and has been a leading factor for the global oil market’s increase in supply. The new oil production that has come online in the U.S. in recent years is generally understood to cost more to get out of the ground than oil produced in Saudi Arabia. If oil prices continue to fall, this more expensive U.S. production could stop being profitable, which could take some production offline until prices increase again. At the close of formal trading on Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled below $66 per barrel for the first time since 2009, down 97 cents at $65.83 per barrel.

Heather HunterStatement from AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet

ORLANDO, Fla., (December 3, 2014) – “It is unacceptable that Takata continues to defy an order by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to facilitate a national recall of dangerous air bags. While Takata officials continue to publically apologize for the deaths associated with the faulty air bags, they simultaneously ignored a midnight deadline by NHTSA to order a national recall.”

“Defying NHTSA should not be an option as motorists remain in danger from defective air bag inflators. NHTSA should act swiftly to use its full authority to compel a nationwide recall as quickly as possible. If the Agency does not have sufficient authority, Congress should act to clarify and expand this ability – be it through more substantial fines or other measures. As time passes more motorists remain at risk from the faulty air bags that have been linked to at least five deaths.”

“AAA fully supports NHTSA’s call for a national recall of affected Takata air bags beyond the limited high-humidity areas where a recall has to date been focused. Vehicles are increasingly bought and sold across state lines and may move long distances across the country. It is unreasonable to assume that vehicles outside of high humidity regions are inherently safe so it is in the best interest of consumers to expand this recall to all states. Motorists’ safety is a national issue that is not confined by regional boundaries and should take precedence over profits.  Takata’s refusal to cooperate with NHTSA’s investigation is unacceptable and demonstrates their failure to fully understand, address and report the scope of the air bag deficiencies as soon as the problem was identified. AAA is calling on Takata, car manufacturers, and all parties involved to ensure that a national recall is handled in a timely manner.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

Michael Green Contact Tile

 

(WASHINGTON, December 3, 2014)

Holiday Drivers Saving About $200 Million per Day on Gasoline

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.75 per gallon, which is the lowest average since Oct. 5, 2010. Gas prices nationally are about 52 cents per gallon less expensive than a year ago, which is the greatest year-over-year savings since 2009. AAA estimates that Americans are saving about $200 million per day on gasoline compared to a year ago.
  • “Gas prices have fallen at a remarkable pace that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Lower gas prices represent real doorbuster savings as everyone begins their holiday shopping.”
  • U.S. average gas prices have dropped 69 days in a row for a total of 60 cents per gallon. This is the longest streak of consecutive price declines since autumn 2008.
  • Average gas prices have dropped about 95 cents per gallon since reaching a high of $3.70 on April 28, 2014. AAA estimates that Americans are saving about $350 million per day on gasoline compared to highs during the spring and summer.
  • The average price of gas in November was $2.89 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since November 2010. By comparison, gas prices averaged $3.23 per gallon in November 2013.
  • Gas prices have dropped to the lowest levels in four years due to significantly lower crude oil costs. Domestic crude oil prices (WTI) have dropped more than $40 per barrel since June with prices last week reaching levels not seen since September 2009.
  • Domestic oil production has increased by more than 70 percent since 2008 and the United States may soon become the world’s largest oil producer. This increase in production has helped to outstrip global demand, especially as economic concerns mount in both Asia and Europe.
  • OPEC chose to maintain an oil production target of 30 million barrels per day at its recent meeting on November 27, despite the recent decline in the cost of crude oil. OPEC reportedly made this decision to maintain market share and compete with U.S. tight oil producers. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil plummeted more than ten percent ($7.54) in next-day trading to settle at $66.15 per barrel following OPEC’s decision. WTI settled at $66.88 per barrel at yesterday’s close of formal trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

Gas Prices May Drop another 15-20 Cents per Gallon by New Year’s Day

  • AAA expects gasoline to drop another 15-20 cents per gallon in the near term as retail prices catch up with steep declines in the cost of both crude oil and wholesale gasoline. Gas prices likely will remain relatively low this winter due to abundant supplies and OPEC’s decision to maintain crude oil production.
  • “The holiday joy should continue as gas prices drop even further in the weeks ahead,” continued Ash. “We could see prices drop to the lowest levels since the Great Recession if the cost of crude oil continues to set multi-year lows.”
  • The decline in retail gasoline prices can lag a week or two behind changes in both futures and wholesale gasoline prices. For example, the futures price of RBOB gasoline on the NYMEX has dropped more than $1.30 per gallon since June, yet retail prices have only fallen about 93 cents per gallon.
  • Gas prices typically remain low in winter because people drive less and do not use as much gasoline during the colder months. There is little reason to expect gas prices to increase significantly until spring unless there is an unexpected spike in the cost of crude oil or an unanticipated disruption to domestic refining or distribution, which could send prices higher in an impacted region.
  • Most Americans traveling this holiday season likely will pay the lowest December gas prices since 2009. Lower gas prices should give holiday travelers more money to spend on dining, shopping and lodging during their trips.
  • While it is possible that a small handful of gas stations in the Southeast and Midcontinent may soon offer gas prices for less than $2.00 per gallon this month, it would probably take crude oil prices dropping another $25-$30 a barrel for the national average price of gasoline to reach that point.

Drivers Increasingly Paying Less than $2.50 per Gallon for Gas

  • As an indication of how low prices have fallen, U.S. consumers are more likely to find a gas station selling gas for less than $2.50 per gallon today (15 percent of stations) than above $3.00 per gallon (12 percent of stations).
  • The five states with the lowest gas prices today include: Missouri ($2.44), Mississippi ($2.51), South Carolina ($2.51), Texas ($2.52) and Oklahoma ($2.53). The five states with the highest average prices today include: Hawaii ($3.85), Alaska ($3.50), New York ($3.15), Connecticut ($3.09) and California ($3.04).
  • Forty-two states have an average gas price below $3.00 per gallon today, and it is possible that every state except Connecticut, New York, Alaska and Hawaii will have averages below that price by next week.

 AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082, mgreen@national.aaa.com

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, December 1, 2014) Drivers enjoyed the lowest retail average for Thanksgiving since 2009, with the national average at $2.80 per gallon this past Thursday, and pump prices are poised to continue to drop this holiday season. The national average has fallen on 67 consecutive days, for a total drop of 58 cents during this streak. Today’s price of $2.77 is four cents less than one week ago, 23 cents less than one month ago and 50 cents less than one year ago. The national average is the lowest since October 7, 2010, and the year-over-year discount is the widest mark since October 17, 2009.

Avg Gas Prices 2011-2014

The national average has been below the $3.00 per gallon benchmark for exactly one month, and 42 states are now registering averages below $3.00 per gallon. This number is set to increase in the coming days and it’s likely that New York and Connecticut will be the only states in the lower 48 above this threshold by the end of next week.

Motorists filling their tanks in the nation’s cheapest gasoline markets are enjoying prices more than 40 cents below the $3.00 benchmark. Tumbling crude prices continue to put downward pressure on the price at the pump with drivers in Missouri ($2.47), Mississippi ($2.53), South Carolina ($2.53) and Texas ($2.54) paying the nation’s lowest prices per gallon. For the fourth week in a row, the average price at the pump is below $4.00 per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C. Hawaii ($3.87), Alaska ($3.50), New York ($3.16) and Connecticut ($3.11) lead the retail gasoline market with the nation’s highest averages.

10 least Expensive Avg Gas Prices-12-01-14

Consumers in 48 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing week-over-week savings. The average price at the pump is down by a nickel or more in 18 states, with the largest savings in Missouri (-10 cents), South Dakota (-9 cents), Utah (-9 cents) and Idaho (-9 cents). Consumers in the Midwestern states of Ohio (+2 cents) and Indiana (fractions of a penny) are paying a bit more to refuel their vehicles over this same period, but prices in the region are positioned to head lower over the next week as wholesale prices have fallen.

The average price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. month-over-month. Every state but Delaware is registering a double-digit discount and drivers in 17 states are saving more than a quarter per gallon. States in the Midcontinent region are recording the largest savings over this period: Oklahoma (-46 cents), Minnesota (-43 cents), South Dakota (-43 cents) and Missouri (-38 cents).

Year-over-year comparisons reflect the most extreme discounts in the price at the pump, led by states located in the Southern and Gulf Coast Regions: Florida (-68 cents), South Carolina (-63 cents), Virginia (-61 cents) and Mississippi (-61 cents). With the exception of Hawaii (-6 cents), drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are experiencing savings of a dime or more and average prices are down by a quarter or more per gallon in 44 states and Washington, D.C.

Top10 Monthly Savings-12-01-14

Sharply lower global oil prices have been the driving factor for lower retail gas prices. Prices dropped even lower last week when, despite the falling price of global oil, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) elected to maintain its collective production ceiling when the group met last Thursday. There had been speculation that the group might take some action to cut collective production to raise prices. This leaves the balance between supply and demand to decide the global price of oil, and with supply outpacing demand the price for crude is expected to remain relatively low. Following the news, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) plummeted more than ten percent ($7.54) in Friday’s trading to settle at $66.15 per barrel. The ultimate market implications for OPEC’s inaction remain unclear, however many market watchers have indicated that they see it as a signal that the oil cartel is more focused on maintaining market share and hoping for prices to stabilize in the winter months as global demand increases.

Nancy WhiteLatest AAA Foundation Report on Aging Americans Finds Surprising Results 

Additional Resources

Washington, D.C., (Dec. 1, 2014) – While senior drivers favor tougher driving laws, from bans on wireless devices to ignitions interlocks for first time DUI offenders, an overwhelming majority support greater scrutiny in the license-renewal process for themselves and their peers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest report on aging Americans.  More than seven out of 10 drivers age 65 and older favor policies that require drivers age 75 and older to renew their license in person and also support requirements that seniors pass a medical screening to remain licensed.
The AAA Foundation’s report Older American Drivers and Traffic Safety Culture  also found:

  • Nearly 80 percent of drivers over age 75  favor medical screenings for drivers ages 75 and older
  • Nearly 90 percent of older drivers (65 and older) reported no  crashes in the last two years
  • Similarly, 90 percent of older drivers reported no moving violations
  • 65 percent of drivers age 75 and older reported never using  a cell phone while driving compared to only 48 percent of the younger “older” drivers (those age 65-69) who never use a phone when behind the wheel

“Even though public perception tends to unfairly characterize seniors as a menace on the road, these findings indicate that older Americans tend to support policies to keep themselves safer behind the wheel, making them key allies in their mission to keep driving–smarter and longer.” says Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. ”

Earlier this year, the AAA Foundation also released the Understanding Older Drivers:  an Examination of Medical Conditions, Medication Use and Travel Behaviors report that found:

  • 86 percent of those age 65 and older still drive
  • 84 percent of Americans age 65 and older hold a driver’s license compared to barely half in the early 1970s
  • 68 percent of drivers age 85 plus report driving five or more days a week

In addition to these reports, the AAA Foundation is currently taking a long-term look at aging drivers with a study that will systematically monitor the driving habits of more than 3,000 senior drivers over the next five years.

“With nearly nine out of ten seniors aged 65 and older still driving, it appears that additional years behind the wheel not only make drivers older, but wiser,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “As older adults live longer and spend more time behind the wheel, it’s promising to see a trend towards a more pro-safety culture with increasing age.”

The AAA Foundation and AAA are promoting these latest findings to support Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which is December 1-5, 2014.  Established by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), this week aims to promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensure older adults remain active in the community and that   transportation will not be the barrier stranding them at home. You can learn more about the AOTA here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable educational and research organization. Dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on our roads, the Foundation’s mission is to prevent crashes and save lives through research and education about traffic safety. The Foundation has funded over 200 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them, and minimize injuries when they do occur.  Visit www.aaafoundation.org for more information on this and other research.

Streak of Gas Price Declines Reaches 60 Days

November 24th, 2014 by admin

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, November 24, 2014) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 60 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.81 per gallon. This is seven cents less than one week ago, one quarter less than one month ago and 46 cents less than one year ago. Today’s price is the least expensive since November 4, 2010 and motorists are on target to pay the lowest averages at the Thanksgiving holiday since 2009, when the national average price was $2.63 per gallon.

 Avg-Gas-Prices-2011-2014

Across the country motorists are enjoying low prices due to production exceeding demand and relatively few issues at local refineries. Consumers in South Carolina and Missouri are paying the nation’s lowest average price at the pump, $2.57 per gallon, and 38 states are posting averages below the $3.00 per gallon threshold. On the other end of the spectrum, states located on the West Coast and northeast continue to lead the nation registering the nation’s highest averages, led by Hawaii ($3.91), Alaska ($3.54), New York ($3.20) and Connecticut ($3.14).  For the third week in a row, the average price for retail gasoline is below $4.00 per gallon in every state and Washington, D.C.

The price at the pump is down in every state and Washington, D.C. in comparison to one week ago. Thirty-six states and Washington, D.C. are posting week-over-week savings of a nickel or more and drivers in seven of these states have seen prices fall by a dime or more over this same period. Production continues to outpace demand in the Midcontinent, contributing to additional savings at the pump for states in that region. The largest discounts are seen in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, where the average price is down by 13 cents per gallon.

 10 Least Expensive Avg Gas Prices-11-24

Consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are also paying less to refuel their vehicles both month-over-month and year-over-year.  Monthly averages are discounted in 49 states and Washington, D.C. by at least 15 cents and 19 states are posting savings of one quarter or more per gallon. Motorists in Minnesota (-39 cents), Oklahoma (-35 cents), California (-32 cents) and Indiana (-32 cents) are experiencing the biggest savings over this period.

The most dramatic savings are seen on a year-over-year basis. Retail prices are lower by at least a quarter per gallon in the majority of states (41). The largest drops in the price at the pump versus last year are seen in the Atlantic Coast States of Florida (-59 cents), South Carolina (-57 cents), Virginia (-57 cents) and North Carolina (-56 cents), however 12 additional states are just behind with their average prices discounted by fifty cents or more per gallon.

 Top10 Yearly Savings-11-24

The abundance in global supply has contributed to a number of global benchmarks trading at multi-year lows, and market watchers are anxiously awaiting the outcomes of two major events scheduled for later this week to see how they will impact prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is scheduled to meet this Thursday, and will respond to the growth in world oil supply by either cutting or sustaining its current production levels.  Additionally, Iran is scheduled to meet with world leaders to discuss the possible relaxation of sanctions that have been in place since late-2011. Prior to the sanctions, Iran was one of OPEC’s leading producers and the lifting of these restrictions could inject additional supply into the global oil market.  At the close of formal trading on Friday West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil closed 60 cents higher at $76.43 per barrel. While oil prices did increase slightly to close out last week, WTI has now settled below $80 for three straight weeks – the longest streak since September 2010.

JulieHallImproving Economy Brings 1.9 Million More Travelers, Consumers Pay Lowest Thanksgiving Gas Prices in Five Years

Additional Resources

ORLANDO, Fla., (November 20, 2014) – AAA Travel projects 46.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest volume for the holiday since 2007 and a 4.2 percent increase over 2013. Almost 90 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will celebrate the holiday with a road trip and likely will enjoy the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 26 through Sunday, November 30.

Highlights from 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast:

  • Thanksgiving holiday travel volume is expected to reach the highest level since 2007, with 46.3 million Americans taking a trip.
  • The 2014 forecast is 4.2 percent higher than the 44.4 million Americans who traveled last year and the greatest growth rate for any holiday since Independence Day 2012.
  • Road trippers likely will pay the lowest Thanksgiving price for fuel in five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.85 per gallon, which is 43 cents lower than the average price for Thanksgiving a year ago ($3.28 per gallon).
  • More than 89 percent of travelers (41.3 million) will travel by automobile, a 4.3 percent increase from 39.6 million last year.
  • Air travel for Thanksgiving is expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million Americans taking to the skies.
  • Travelers will encounter moderately higher prices with airfares one percent higher, mid-range hotels up eight percent and car rentals costing 10 percent more.
  • The average distance traveled this Thanksgiving will be 549 miles roundtrip and Americans will spend an average of $573 during the holiday weekend.

“This year, more Americans will give thanks for the opportunity to travel to friends and family than any year since 2007,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President and Chief Operating Officer. “Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel.”

“Holiday joy has come early this year with Americans likely to pay the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2009. Lower prices are increasing disposable income and enabling families to carve out more money from household budgets for travel this Thanksgiving,” continued Doney.

Impact of gasoline prices on travel plans

The national price of gasoline has fallen below $3.00 per gallon for the first time since Dec. 22, 2010, a welcome gift for travelers as they head into the busy holiday travel season. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers likely will pay the cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices in five years. More than 89 percent (41.3 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 4.3 percent increase from 2013.

Travel expenses rise modestly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase eight percent from one year ago with travelers spending an average of $154 per night compared to $142 last year. The average hotel rate for AAA Two Diamond hotels has risen nine percent with an average cost of $114 per night.

Weekend daily car rental rates will average $55, 10 percent higher than last year. Airfares will only increase one percent, with an average discounted round-trip rate of $189 across 40 top domestic routes.

Most of travelers’ budgets go toward transportation, food and shopping

Travelers are expected to spend an average of $573 over the course of their holiday travels. Despite lower average gas prices, travelers are allocating 31 percent of their budgets to fuel transportation. Food and beverage and shopping will account for 22 percent and 20 percent of holiday travel budgets, respectively.

Travelers’ spending plans mirror their intended activities this Thanksgiving, with 70 percent of travelers reporting they will enjoy dining during their vacation and 59 percent will go shopping. Eighty-nine percent of travelers plan to spend time with friends and family this Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA offers travel planning resources

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning on the go include the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find current gas prices and discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Travelers can learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

On AAA.com, travelers can find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants using the TripTik Travel Planner or the searchable Travel Guides at AAA.com/Travel. Every AAA Approved establishment offers the assurance of acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality, and ratings of One to Five Diamonds help travelers find the right match for amenities and services.

AAA’s collection of downloadable eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones is available free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from 101 top North American destinations including city titles, like the award-winning Las Vegas, and regions like Wine Country and national parks.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Colorado-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2014 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 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. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com. For more information about AAA Travel, visit AAA.com/Travel.

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.