Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

Teen Drivers Put Everyone at Risk

May 27th, 2015 by admin

Nancy WhiteAAA Foundation Study Raises Alert as 100 Deadliest Days Begins

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2015) – Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel, according to a new report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  In 2013 alone, 371,645 people were injured and 2,927 were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver. The results come just as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb.

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“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and this data confirm that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  “Since teens drive more during the summer than any other season, this insight is a timely reminder to everyone—drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists— to be mindful when sharing the roads with young drivers.”

The study analyzed data of police-reported crashes of drivers aged 15-19, from 1994-2013 and found that:

  • While the overall number of teen crashes are down,  the majority of people killed (66%) and injured (67%) in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves
  • Nearly 50 percent of those injured were in another vehicle; 17 percent were in the teen driver’s car; and 2 percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrian, bicyclist)
  • Nearly 30 percent of those killed were in another car, 27 percent were the teen’s passenger and ten percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrians, bicyclist)

AAA is promoting the study findings to raise attention among parents of teen drivers and all road users particularly during the “100 Deadliest Days” period.  Based on a AAA analysis of the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months, a 43 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

“Everyone has an incentive to keep teen drivers safe during the summer—and all year long—because it makes roads safer for everyone,” says Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “Insightful data from this research help to inform parents and policymakers who can push legislation that results in an impactful difference.”

AAA has been a decades-long advocate on behalf of teen drivers and their families and has been a leader at the state level in advocating for the implementation and improvement of both graduated drivers licensing (GDL) laws and quality driver education programs.  Additional data from this study point to the drop in overall crash rates for teen drivers that can be attributed to strong GDL legislation as well as other factors including rising gas prices and the economy.

In the last 20 years, non-fatal injury crashes and fatal crashes of teen drivers aged 15-19 decreased by 51 percent and 56 percent respectively.  In comparison, crashes resulting in non-fatal injuries and fatalities, including but not limited to those involving teen drivers fell by 25 percent and 17 percent respectively.

“While great strides have been made to improve the safety of teen drivers over the past 20 years, motor vehicle crashes still remain the leading cause of death for drivers aged 15-19, so advocating on behalf of teen driver safety remains a top priority for AAA,” said Ryan.

Tools to help parents prepare for the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer driving and other resources to coach teens through the learning-to drive process including a parent-teen driving agreement can be found on AAA’s award-winning website Parents have found the online AAA StartSmart program to be particularly useful, helping them to quickly become effective in-car coaches, make informed decisions about access to a vehicle, and manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.

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 for more information on this and other research.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015) The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day ($2.74) after rising for 39 of 41 days. Today’s average price of $2.74 per gallon is fractions of a penny less than yesterday. Drivers are paying three cents more than one week ago, eight cents more than two-weeks ago and 21 cents more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Despite the overall trend of rising averages, consumers paid the lowest prices at the pump for the holiday since 2010. Significant yearly discounts remain, due to relatively low prices for crude oil, with today’s national average representing a savings of 92 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.

2012-2015_Avg Gas Prices

Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude and localized refinery issues, particularly in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Although West Coast states continue to post the nation’s highest state averages, the most dramatic weekly increases have been in the Midwest, largely attributed to production issues in that market. ExxonMobil’s Joliet, Ill. refinery is continuing to operate at reduced production levels, and CITGO’s refinery in Lemont, Ill. is reportedly scheduled to conduct maintenance work in the coming days, which could also add additional volatility to the regional market. Motorists on the West Coast are not completely out of the woods, and the residual impacts of reduced supply could keep prices high in the coming weeks.

California ($3.76), Nevada ($3.32), Hawaii ($3.28), Alaska ($3.27) and Washington ($3.05) are the five most expensive markets for retail gasoline. A total of seven states, all in the western region, are posting averages above $3 per gallon. Drivers in South Carolina ($2.43), Mississippi ($2.44) and Oklahoma ($2.45) are paying the lowest prices at the pump, and their prices are discounted by more than $1.25 per gallon compared to California.

Top10 Highest Average Gas Prices-5-26-15

The impact of refinery issues is seen in both weekly and bi-weekly price comparisons. Week-over-week, the average price for retail gasoline has moved higher in 47 states and Washington, D.C. The Midwestern states of Illinois (+13 cents) and Ohio (+10 cents), are the only two posting double-digit increases over this period and the price is up by a nickel or more in a total of 10 states. California (-5 cents), the nation’s most expensive market, is outside of this trend and is joined by Oklahoma and Arizona where the price has fallen by fractions of a penny since one week ago. Two-week price comparisons also reflect this trend of rising prices. The average price for retail gasoline has increased in every state and Washington D.C., over this same period, and the most dramatic increases in price are Ohio (+23 cents), Illinois (+21 cents) and Michigan (+20 cents).

Top10 Monthly Savings-12-01-14

Monthly comparisons also reflect overall increases in the price of retail gasoline. With the exception of Florida (+9 cents), pump prices are up by a dime or more per gallon nationwide. The largest jumps in price are on the West Coast where refinery issues have impacted prices over a longer stretch, and drivers in Nevada (+39 cents), California (+38 cents) and Utah (+33) are paying the largest month-over-month premiums.

Compared to this same date last year, drivers nationwide are paying significantly less at the pump. The magnitude of savings has narrowed somewhat due to rising prices, and motorists in just 11 states and Washington, D.C. are now saving $1 or more per gallon – down 10 states since last week’s report. Ohio (-$1.13), Kentucky (-$1.12) and Michigan (-$1.12) are saving the most per gallon at the pump, while California (-37 cents) and Nevada (-46 cents) are the only two states with discounts below 50 cents per gallon.

Volatility is expected to continue to characterize global oil prices, with a number of variables potentially impacting the sensitive balance between supply and demand.  Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are persisting, largely due to violence by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which adds a level of risk to regional oil production. At the same time, the strength of the U.S. dollar is improving on the heels of improved inflation data. A stronger dollar makes crude oil relatively more expensive for those overseas, which puts downward pressure on prices. Both factors are likely to influence the global price in the near term and market watchers are closely monitoring the ultimate impact on the global price of crude.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $1 lower at $59.72 per barrel.

JulieHallRelease of new edition marks opening of annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 21, 2015) – AAA has released a newly updated Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®. Now in its 17th edition, the guide features more than 15,000 AAA Approved hotels, restaurants and campgrounds that welcome travelers and their furry family members. Animal-loving travelers can now also enter this year’s AAA PetBook Photo Contest, sponsored by Best Western, for a chance to win prizes and see their pet on a cover of a future edition of the book.

“Vacationing with your pets can be a rewarding experience that offers memories to last a lifetime. The key to an enjoyable trip with pets is careful planning,” said Bill Wood, vice president and executive editor, AAA Travel Information & Content Publishing. “AAA is pleased to provide traveling pet owners with reliable information for planning vacations that include the whole family.”

Travelers who capture a photo of their pet on vacation can enter the AAA PetBook Photo Contest through November. Winning entries convey the joys of traveling safely with pets. Cover pets on the current edition are shown enjoying kayaking, a romp in the snow and a scenic hike. See inside The AAA PetBook for details, or access official rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery at

The AAA PetBook provides detailed planning information — including pet policies, amenities and fees — for more than 13,000 AAA Diamond Rated hotels and more than 800 top-rated campgrounds. Travelers can anticipate permitted pet sizes and other restrictions that may influence their choice of where to stay. The book also lists close to 1,000 AAA Diamond Rated restaurants that allow pets in outside dining areas.

Helpful tips for first-time and seasoned pet travelers include ideas on packing, pet etiquette and border crossing. Dog parks, national public lands that allow pets and emergency vet clinics are also listed.

The 17th edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook is available now at many AAA and CAA offices, bookstores and online booksellers, with a suggested retail price of $18.95.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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


Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,000+* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers six hotel products to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS®, BEST WESTERN PREMIER®, BEST WESTERN PLUS EXECUTIVE RESIDENCYSM, VībSM and BW Premier Collection SM. Now celebrating 69 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 22 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records and accolades, including Business Travel News naming BEST WESTERN and BEST WESTERN PLUS as the best mid-price and upper mid-price hotel chains, four consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards for best hotel website and six consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Best Western branded hotels worldwide won four times more TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards than industry average.

*Numbers are approximate and may fluctuate.

Heather HunterORLANDO, Fla., (May 19, 2015) – “AAA supports the over-due announcement that Takata has agreed to a national recall of driver and passenger side air bag inflators. Since late last year AAA has fully supported NHTSA’s call for a national recall of affected Takata air bags beyond the limited high-humidity areas where a recall has focused until today.”

“Given the historic nature of this recall in size and reach, it is important for Congress to reinforce NHTSA’s authority to act swiftly to compel a nationwide recall when appropriate and expand the agency’s authority to levy more significant penalties on those who refuse to comply.”

“With the summer season approaching, we are reminded that 33 million Americans will be hitting the roads in their vehicles for Memorial Day travel and as time passes more motorists remain at risk from the faulty air bags that have been linked to at least 6 deaths. Motorists’ safety is a national issue that is not confined by regional boundaries and should take precedence over profits. ”

“As an advocate for motorists, AAA believes this recall is a step in the right direction to ensure motorist safety on America’s roadways. Vehicles are increasingly bought and sold across state lines and may move long distances across the country so AAA believes that it is in the best interest of consumers to expand this recall to all states.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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

Heather HunterHeathrow, Fla., May 18, 2015 – As the spring and summer moving season kicks off, AAA is pleased to announce that Penske Truck Rental is now a platinum-level AAA Discounts & Rewards Partner. Elevating the partnership to this level provides Penske with greater marketing opportunities with AAA members.

“We have a longstanding relationship with the Penske organization as a discount moving partner for our members,” said Scott Denman, vice president, Financial Services, Member Benefits, and E-Business, AAA. “We know our members value Penske’s commitment to customer service and to operating a fleet of high-quality rental trucks to meet their moving needs.”

Today, whether they are moving across town or across the country, AAA members enjoy savings of up to 20 percent when reserving a Penske truck online at and up to 12 percent when buying moving boxes and supplies online from Penske.

“AAA has been a significant and valued partner with us for the last 16 years,” said Don Mikes, senior vice president of Truck Rental at Penske. “Their shared commitment to highway safety and customer service is one reason they are a partner we promote on our consumer rental and commercial rental trucks across the U.S. and Canada. We’re pleased to continue and expand our relationship with AAA.”

Penske Truck Rental is a business unit of Penske Truck Leasing. With one of the newest moving truck rental fleets, Penske provides do-it-yourself movers with clean, well-maintained and reliable rental trucks as well as moving equipment, packing supplies and accessories to keep consumers and businesses moving forward.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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

Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., headquartered in Reading, Pa., is a partnership among Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group, General Electric Capital Corporation, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. A leading global transportation services provider, Penske operates more than 216,000 vehicles and serves customers from more than 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Product lines include full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, used truck sales, transportation and warehousing management and supply chain management solutions. To learn more about Penske’s products and services please visit and our “Move Ahead” blog. Penske Truck Rental on social media: Move Ahead Blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015) One week from the Memorial Day holiday, the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has increased on 32 of the past 34 days, reaching today’s price $2.71 per gallon. Consumers are paying a nickel per gallon more than one week ago and 26 cents more per gallon than one month ago. Despite the national average continuing to register new highs for 2015, drivers are still experiencing significant yearly savings at the pump and today’s price is discounted by 94 cents year-over-year, making it the lowest average for this date since 2009.


Pump prices have moved higher nationwide in recent months, largely due to the global rally in crude prices. While consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. have felt the impact of more expensive crude oil, gas prices in several regions have seen more dramatic increases due to refinery problems.  The West Coast continues to lead the market with some of the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline due to localized refinery issues over the past several months, which have kept supplies tight and prices tilted higher. This region is relatively isolated from other markets and is more dependent on in-region production, making it harder for the market to adjust to supply disruptions.

While West Coast prices have surged higher for weeks, prices across the Midwest have posted among the most dramatic jumps in the past week. The Midwestern increase has been due to regional production issues, including a problem at ExxonMobil’s 248,000 barrel per day Joliet refinery in Channahon, Ill. While reports of reduced output from the facility sparked sharp increases at the pump for Midwestern drivers, wholesale gasoline prices were more stable today, though the refinery may operate at reduced rates for about two weeks.


For the 12th consecutive week, California ($3.81) leads the market with drivers paying an average price that is more than $1 per gallon above the national average. Nevada ($3.30), Hawaii ($3.25), Alaska ($3.21), Oregon ($3.02) and Washington ($3.02) round out the most expensive markets and are the only states posting averages above $3 per gallon. Motorists in South Carolina ($2.38), Mississippi ($2.42) and Louisiana ($2.43) are paying the least to fill their tanks.

With the exception of Pennsylvania, where the price has moved lower by fractions of a penny, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump week-over-week. Ohio (+12 cents) and Michigan (+11 cents) are both posting double-digit increases over this same period, and 17 states are registering premiums of a nickel or more per gallon versus one week ago.


Monthly comparisons reflect sizable movement in pump prices nationwide. The price at the pump has jumped by a quarter or more per gallon in 13 states, with the largest increases in California (+68 cents), Nevada (+50 cents), Arizona (+41 cents) and Utah (+37 cents).

Contrary to weekly and monthly price comparisons, motorists nationwide are paying less to refuel their vehicles year-over-year. The price is discounted by $1 or more in 21 states and Washington, D.C., with the largest savings in Michigan (-$1.13), Kentucky (-$1.13) and Indiana (-$1.12), despite the recent price spike in the Midwest.

The global oil market remains oversupplied, but market watchers are closely monitoring U.S. production and the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East for any impact that could shift this balance. Volatility will likely continue to characterize the global market in the near term as traders closely watch the balance between supply and demand. In particular, more expensive crude could lead to an increase in production and supply, which could put a ceiling on the current rally in price.  Speculators are also interpreting the latest action by the so-called Islamic State, who seized control of the city of Ramadi, Iraq, as a reminder of regional instability in the near term.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI was down 19 cents and settled at $59.69 per barrel.

Erin SteppTests show headlights lights may fail to safely illuminate dark roadways

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 13, 2015) – New test results from AAA reveal the potential for significant headlight shortcomings when traveling on roadways that lack overhead lighting, typically America’s rural roads, which account for 40 percent of vehicle miles traveled annually. To assess headlight capabilities and limitations and learn what, if any, advantage advanced headlight technologies offer, AAA compared the performance of halogen, high intensity discharge (HID) and light emitting diode (LED) headlights. AAA’s test results suggest that halogen headlights, found in over 80 percent of vehicles on the road today, may fail to safely illuminate unlit roadways at speeds as low as 40 mph.

Additional Resources

The testing, conducted with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, measured the distances at which modern headlights illuminate non-reflective objects on both low-beam and high-beam settings. These findings, paired with guidelines issued by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, indicate that when traveling on unlit roadways, today’s headlights fail to light the full distance necessary for a driver to detect an object or obstacle in the roadway, react and come to a complete stop.

“AAA’s test results reveal that headlights found in U.S. vehicles fall short on safety,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “By failing to properly light roadways at moderate speeds, a pedestrian or animal may not become visible to a driver until it’s too late to stop.”

While high-beam settings on halogen headlights improved sight distances by 28 percent at the testing facility, in real-world conditions they may only provide enough light to safely stop at speeds of up to 48 mph, leaving drivers vulnerable at highway speeds. Despite the clear need for the additional visibility that high-beams offer, particularly on unlit roads, a recent AAA survey found that only a third of Americans admit to using these settings regularly.

Additional testing found that while the advanced headlight technology found in HID and LED headlights illuminated dark roadways 25 percent further than their halogen counter parts, they still may fail to fully illuminate roadways at speeds greater than 45 mph. High-beam settings on these advanced headlights offered significant improvement over low-beam settings, lighting distances of up to 500 feet (equal to 55 mph). Despite the increase, even the most advanced headlights fall 60 percent short of the sight distances that the full light of day provides.

“While it’s encouraging to see the safety benefit that newer headlight technology offers to drivers, there’s still room for improvement,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director, Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Unlike the more advanced headlight technology available in European vehicles, current government regulations limit the light output for vehicles sold in the United States. AAA looks forward to working with U.S. policy makers to ensure federal regulations keep up with changing technology.”

In addition to testing low-beam and high-beam headlight performance, AAA tested the effect that deteriorated headlight lenses have on light intensity and glare. The protective coating used on the plastics of modern lenses can slowly deteriorate and cloud after about five years, reducing light output and increasing light scatter which results in glare for other drivers.  The testing found that restoring headlights doubles the maximum light intensity and reduces glare-producing light scatter by up to 60 percent.  Yet, according to a recent AAA survey, only 20 percent of Americans have performed this service.

“Deteriorated or dirty headlight lenses are not just an aesthetic issue,” warned Nielsen. “An annual service on older vehicles will increase your nighttime visibility and minimize distracting glare for fellow drivers.”

To learn more about AAA’s vehicle testing series, designed to educate and inform AAA members, the automotive industry and the general public, visit

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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

Michael Green(WASHINGTON, May 11, 2015) The national average price of gas has increased for 26 of the previous 27 days to $2.66 per gallon, which is the highest average of the year. Drivers are paying about four cents more per gallon than one week ago and 27 cents more per gallon than one month ago. However, relatively low crude costs continue to translate to significant savings at the pump for consumers. Today’s national average is about a dollar less than a year ago and is at the cheapest level for this date since 2009.


AAA predicts that automotive travel this Memorial Day holiday will be up 5.3 percent (33 million travelers) compared to last year’s holiday weekend, which would be the highest volume in ten years. Gas prices may not change all that much by the holiday weekend, which would result in the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.

Regional refinery issues on the West Coast continue to push prices higher in a handful of states, with the majority of the nation’s most expensive markets located in the region. California ($3.72) is the nation’s most expensive retail gasoline market, and is joined by four other states posting averages of $3 or more per gallon: Hawaii ($3.23), Nevada ($3.22), Alaska ($3.15) and Oregon ($3.00). The price at the pump is above $2.50 per gallon in 36 states and Washington, D.C. On the other end of the spectrum, motorists in South Carolina ($2.37), Missouri ($2.39) and Mississippi ($2.40) are the paying the lowest averages at the pump, although they too have seen prices inch upward since last week’s report.


Drivers in 49 states and Washington, D.C. are paying more to refuel their vehicles versus one week ago. Twenty-two states are paying a nickel or more per gallon, led by Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota with week-over-week increases of nine cents per gallon. The only state to buck this trend is Michigan, where the average price fell by six cents per gallon over this same period.

Month-over-month, the price has moved higher in every state and Washington, D.C. by a dime or more per gallon.  Pump prices are up by a quarter or more in 22 states, with the largest monthly increases taking place in the western United States. Consumers in California (+61 cents), Nevada (+44 cents), Utah (+39 cents) and Arizona (+39 cents) have seen the largest increases over this period, due largely to the refinery issues in the region.

Although motorists nationwide continue to pay significantly lower gas prices, rising averages are beginning to erode savings in a number of states.  Prices are lower by a dollar or more in 30 states and Washington, D.C. year-over-year, which is 11 states fewer than one week ago. Consumers in Ohio (-$1.23), Michigan (-$1.18) and Kentucky (-$1.15) are saving the most per gallon compared to this same date last year.


The price of crude has moved higher since the middle of March due to slowing U.S. production, a weakening U.S. dollar and speculation of demand growth from China. Despite the price increase, many market watchers believe that the recent rally may be nearing an end due to oversupply continuing to characterize the global market, effectively putting a ceiling on how high the price can go. The global oil cartel OPEC appears to be maintaining its strategy of high production levels and is scheduled to convene in June to reassess supply quotas, but in the meantime all eyes remain on U.S. production levels based on its new position as swing producer.

The domestic benchmark WTI posted a weekly gain for the seventh consecutive week but remains significantly below the 2014 high of $107.95 per barrel. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI settled 45 cents higher at $59.39 per barrel.

JulieHallStrong economy and low gas prices drive 4.7 percent increase in holiday travel over 2014

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 8, 2015) – AAA Travel projects 37.2 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years. Kicking off the summer driving season, 33 million travelers will be driving to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25.

Highlights from 2015 Memorial Day Travel Forecast:

  • The 2015 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years, since 2005.
  • Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years. Today’s national average price of gas is $2.66, $1.00 less than the average price on Memorial Day last year.
  • The 4.7 percent increase over Memorial Day 2014 is the highest forecast growth rate for any of the holidays tracked by AAA since Independence Day 2012.
  • More than 88 percent of travelers (33 million) will travel by automobile, an increase of 5.3 percent over last Memorial Day.
  • Holiday air travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent to 2.6 million leisure travelers.
  • Travel by other modes of transportation including cruises, trains and buses, is expected to decrease 3.6 percent this Memorial Day, to 1.64 million.
  • Travelers will encounter higher lodging costs this year, while airfares are down slightly compared to Memorial Day 2014.

Additional Resources

“Following a harsh winter, many Americans are trading in their snow boots for flip flops and making plans to start the season with a vacation getaway,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA President. “AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 10 years as confident consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America’s great cities.”

A number of economic factors are contributing to the large increase in holiday travelers this year. “A strong employment market and low gas prices have driven consumer optimism to new highs and boosted Americans’ disposable income. This is welcome news for the travel industry,” continued Doney.

Impact of gasoline prices

Travelers continue to benefit from substantially lower gas prices compared to recent years. Today’s national average price is $2.66, $1.00 less than the average price for Memorial Day 2014. AAA predicts most U.S. travelers will pay the cheapest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.

Tips for drivers

More than 88 percent (33 million) of holiday travelers will drive to their destination, a 5.3 percent increase from 2014. AAA expects to rescue nearly 350,000 motorists at the roadside this Memorial Day weekend, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends motorists inspect their vehicle and check battery and tire condition before heading out on a holiday getaway. Members can download the AAA mobile app (, visit or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown.

Hotel rates increase, airfares fall slightly

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, the average nightly stay in a Two Diamond hotel is 16 percent higher this year at $144, while Three Diamond hotels will cost seven percent more, averaging $182. Average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes are two percent cheaper this year, falling to $222.

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

On, 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 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 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 major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2015 Memorial Day Travel Forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 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 For more information about AAA Travel, visit

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 4, 2015) The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline has moved higher for 19 consecutive days for a total of 23 cents per gallon, due to higher crude oil costs and a number of refinery issues. Today’s price of $2.62 per gallon represents the most expensive average price of the year. Motorists are paying eight cents more per gallon than one week ago and 22 cents more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Although the national average is currently moving higher, relatively lower crude prices continue to provide consumers with significant year-over-year-savings and today’s price is $1.06 per gallon less than a year ago.


The price at the pump often increases in the spring due to seasonal maintenance, rising demand and the higher costs associated with producing more expensive summer-blend gasoline, which is required in many parts of the country to combat emissions in warmer temperatures. Unexpected refinery issues are also keeping upward pressure on the national average and consumers may see prices rise a bit higher over the next few weeks. Despite this trend, retail averages are expected to continue to post significant year-over-year discounts, and barring any major supply disruptions, the national average is expected to remain below $3 per gallon throughout 2015.

The West Coast continues to lead the nation in posting the highest prices for retail gasoline due to regional refinery issues that have caused prices to race higher. California ($3.71) remains the nation’s most expensive market and is joined by three other states with averages above $3 per gallon: Hawaii ($3.19), Nevada ($3.17) and Alaska ($3.09). The majority of states (28 and Washington, D.C.) are posting averages above $2.50 per gallon. Rising crude prices and increased seasonal demand are expected to keep upward pressure on the price at the pump in the short-term. South Carolina ($2.33), Missouri ($2.34) and Oklahoma ($2.36) are the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline, but even these states have seen pump prices move higher over the last few days due to the aforementioned seasonal factors.


With the exception of Ohio (-6 cents), drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more for gas week-over-week. The price has climbed higher by a nickel or more in 40 states and Washington, D.C., and prices have increased by a dime or more per gallon in nine states over this same period. Weekly price comparisons show that drivers on the West Coast have seen the most dramatic moves in the price at pump, with the largest increases occurring in : California (+30 cents), Nevada (+23 cents), Arizona (+15 cents) and Oregon (+14 cents).

Monthly comparisons show that gas prices are up by a nickel or more in every state and Washington, D.C., and the majority of motorists (42 states and Washington, D.C.) are paying a dime or more per gallon. Motorists in California (+54 cents), Nevada (+38 cents), New Jersey (+34 cents) and Utah (+34 cents) are paying noticeably more at the pump versus one month ago. Gas prices have increased by a quarter or more per gallon over this same period in 12 states.


Despite recent increases, consumers continue to benefit in the form of yearly savings at the pump. Retail averages are down nationwide year-over-year and the price at the pump is discounted by $1 or more in 41 states and Washington, D.C. The largest savings are in Ohio (-$1.22), Kentucky (-$1.21) and West Virginia (-$1.20).

The price of crude rallied to close out the month, due to a slowdown in U.S. production, a weakening dollar and growing instability in the Middle East. U.S. oil supplies remain at record highs, but the growth in production has reportedly slowed in recent weeks, which could indicate a new balance in supply and demand. The market also is focused on the Strait of Hormuz – a narrow waterway off the Iranian coast that provides access to major oil-exporting ports in the region. The U.S. is increasing its naval presence in the region after Iran unexpectedly seized a container ship attempting to pass through the strait. Historically this strait has often been at the center of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and with the two countries also attempting to reach a nuclear agreement by June 30, both sides are carefully weighing options and the perceived tension has put a bit of upward pressure on the global price of crude.

While WTI is at nearly a four month high, it is unclear whether oil prices will remain at this level. U.S. oil-drilling rigs have reached their lowest level since October 2010, and U.S. oil storage remains at an all-time high. Domestic oil production companies are keeping a watchful eye on the price and they could ramp up or resume production in order to capitalize on any upward movement.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 50 cents and settled at $59.15 per barrel.



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