Posts Tagged ‘AAA’

Michael Green Contact TilePump prices are holding relatively steady and remain at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2005. Today’s price of $2.31 per gallon represents a savings of three cents per gallon on the week and two cents per gallon on the month. Year-over-year drivers continue to benefit from noticeable discounts in the price to refuel their vehicles, and prices are down 47 cents per gallon versus this same date last year.

2013-2016_Avg-Gas-Prices_6-27-16

This year’s summer driving season is likely to set new records for both gasoline demand and vehicle miles traveled, and the latest data from the U.S. EIA shows that gasoline demand is currently at an all-time high. Strong demand can put additional pressure on refineries, and their ability to sustain output and keep gasoline flowing to markets directly impacts the price consumers pay at the pump. However, refineries are reportedly increasing output and gasoline supply has more than kept pace with growing demand. In fact, the refinery utilization rates reached its highest level since April and gasoline inventories posted an increase in the face of these record numbers. Gas prices have fallen for 16 consecutive days, and if the market can remain adequately supplied drivers are likely to continue paying prices unseen for the summer months in more than a decade.

Quick Stats

  • The West Coast leads the market and is posting some of the nation’s highest prices at the pump, led by: California ($2.90), Hawaii ($2.79), Alaska ($2.66), Washington ($2.65) and Nevada ($2.55)
  • The nation’s least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.00), Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.07), Alabama ($2.09) and Oklahoma ($2.09).

West Coast
Gas prices on the West Coast remain some of the highest in the nation, with nearly every state in the region represented in the rankings of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets. Prices have moved higher on the week in almost every state in the region, and averages in the market’s leader California ($2.90) are within a dime of the $3 per gallon benchmark. Despite this trend of increasing averages, the region continues to lead the market posting some of the largest year-over-year savings, thanks to lower crude oil prices and comparatively more supply. Drivers in every state located in the region are saving at least 50 cents per gallon on the year, with the largest discounts in price experienced by drivers in Alaska (-80 cents), Nevada (-65 cents), Oregon (-62 cents) and Hawaii (-58 cents).

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices_6-27-16

According to the U.S. EIA, gasoline production on the West Coast is at a two-year high and refineries overall are keeping up with growing demand. Issues that could potentially impact the ability of refineries to continue to supply the market were reported late in the week, and pump prices may fluctuate in the near term as a result. A natural gas storage facility in Southern California was shut down due to a leak. Refineries rely on natural gas to produce transportation fuels, and this reduction could impact the region’s gasoline supply. Additionally, an intrastate crude oil pipeline that is connected to nearly every local crude oil production site and to six Los Angeles area refineries also reported a leak. The pipeline was already operating at a reduced rate when the spill was reported, and although clean-up, mitigation and recovery efforts are currently underway this too may also impact pump prices in the region.

Rockies
Pump prices are down on the week in the Rocky Mountain states and averages remain below the $2.50 per gallon benchmark. Consumers in Utah (-65 cents) are benefitting from yearly savings of more than 50 cents per gallon and gas prices are expected to hold relatively steady during the summer months.

Great Lakes
Drivers in the Great Lake states are experiencing a bit of relief at the pump, following a string of issues that caused prices to move noticeably higher in the region over the past few weeks. Illinois ($2.48) and Michigan ($2.46) are the only two states in the region ranked in the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets; however, averages in both states are down on the week. Gasoline supplies are reportedly recovering in the region, which is also home to states posting the nation’s largest weekly savings, led by: Indiana (-16 cents), Ohio (-16 cents), and Michigan (-13 cents).

Top10-Largest-Weekly-Declines-6-27-16

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Retail averages held relatively steady week-over-week in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region, moving by +/- 2 cents per gallon over this period. Washington, D.C. ($2.55) is the only state located in this region with an average price above $2.50 per gallon and prices on the whole remain moderate. Consumers in Delaware (-53 cents), New York (-52 cents), Connecticut (-51 cents) and New Jersey (-50 cents) are all saving 50 cents or more per gallon year-over-year. Gasoline supplies fell on the week, but the market remains well supplied, and prices are expected to remain moderately priced this summer, barring any major disruptions in supply.

Southeast
Southeastern states continue to dominate the rankings of the nation’s least expensive markets for gas. South Carolina ($2.00) is the nation’s least expensive market for retail gasoline, is followed by regional neighbors Mississippi ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.07), and Alabama ($2.09) in the rankings. Gas prices have moved by +/- 3 cents per gallon in the region week-over-week and are expected to remain on the lower end of the spectrum in the near term. A wildcard for gas prices in the region is the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Prices could become volatile due to severe weather which could impact both production and distribution.

Central States
Oklahoma ($2.09), Tennessee ($2.10) and Missouri ($2.11) are ranked in the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets, and prices in the Central States are expected to remain relatively lower. On the whole, weekly and monthly price comparisons show that prices are holding steady and with a few exceptions have moved by +/- 2 cents per gallon over these periods.

Oil Market Dynamics
The United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union, also known as the “Brexit,” reportedly contributed to WTI closing out the week at its steepest one-day loss since October. The global oil market has been characterized by extreme oversupply for the better part of the year, but the tide appeared to be turning thanks to record gasoline demand from the U.S. and expectations that demand from other nations would also grow. The Brexit put a damper on these speculations because it contributed to the U.S. dollar gaining strength. A strong dollar makes crude oil more expensive for countries holding other currencies, which limits purchasing power, and could reduce global crude oil demand. The full impact of the Brexit remains unknown and both benchmarks opened the week trading lower.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was down $2.47 and settled at $47.64 per barrel – this represents a loss of 34 cents per barrel on the week.

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 JohnsonAAA Applauds Smart City Competition for Being a Catalyst of Transportation Innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2016)-  Today the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) named Columbus, OH as the winner of its Smart City Challenge. AAA’s Managing Director of Government Relations and Traffic Safety Advocacy, Jill Ingrassia, has released the following statement in response to the announcement.

“AAA applauds USDOT, Vulcan Inc., all of the Smart Cities Challenge finalists and other partners for their commitment to improving the future of our country’s transportation system. Smart transportation is the fundamental building block of a smart city.  By leveraging new technology, data analysis, collaboration and innovation, cities like Columbus, Ohio will demonstrate smart ways to address our 21st century transportation challenges.  Congratulations to the city of Columbus and its partners.  We look forward to seeing the innovations that will make transportation in Ohio more integrated, safe and efficient.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 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.  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.

Michael Green Contact TileThe national average price of gas reached a new 2016 high over the weekend, and today’s average of $2.38 per gallon is the most expensive average since September 2015.  Gas prices have moved higher by two cents per gallon on the week and 16 cents per gallon on the month. Although pump prices have increased for 28 of the past 33 days, consumers continue to benefit from yearly savings and prices are down 42 cents per gallon compared to a year ago.

National-Average-Comparison_6-13-16

 

The cost of crude oil has moved higher over the past few weeks, which has made gasoline more expensive to start the summer driving season. Crude oil prices have increased due to unexpected disruptions in places like Canada and Nigeria, while questions continue to mount over future production in Venezuela. Since early April, the cost of crude oil has increased by more than $13 per barrel to the highest levels since 2015. With all other factors being equal, a $1 per barrel change in the price of crude oil can increase gas prices by 2.4 cents per gallon. Prices may continue to fluctuate on the heels of news related to global oil supply and the U.S. dollar, which could have a major impact on what drivers pay for gasoline this summer.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.86), Michigan ($2.74), Hawaii ($2.73), Ohio ($2.68) and Alaska ($2.67).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.08), Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.12), New Jersey ($2.14) and Louisiana ($2.15).
  • Despite increasing for 28 of the past 33 days, the national average remains at its lowest price for this same date since 2005.
  • Gas prices in the Midwest are rivaling averages typically experienced by drivers on West Coast due to planned and unplanned refinery maintenance, combined with healthy demand for gasoline.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices_6-13-16

 

West Coast

Retail averages on the West Coast are relatively steady and have moved by three cents or less over the past week. California ($2.86) is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline, and regional neighbors Hawaii ($2.73) and Alaska ($2.67) are the only two states in the region also ranked in the nation’s top five most expensive markets. Consumers in the region continue to benefit from the largest yearly savings, with pump prices in nearly every state in the region discounted by more than 50 cents per gallon.  In fact, the largest year-over-year savings in the price of gas are seen in the West Coast states of: Nevada (-71 cents), Alaska (-71 cents) and California (-68 cents).

Conditions at the ExxonMobil Torrance, CA refinery are reportedly improving and two units previously offline are scheduled to be restarted this week. The latest data from the U.S. EIA points to gasoline inventories shrinking in the region, however, gasoline production is growing which could help balance the scale and keep gas prices relatively steady over the near term.

Great Lakes

Pump prices in the Great Lakes states continue to climb higher due to tightening supply and healthy demand for gasoline. Michigan ($2.74) is the nation’s second most expensive market for gas, and the Great Lakes states of Ohio ($2.68), Illinois ($2.66) and Indiana ($2.61) join in the rankings of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets. The nation’s largest price increases over the past few weeks have occurred in states located in this region. Gas prices are up double digits in Michigan (+23 cents), Ohio (+21 cents), Illinois (+18 cents), Indiana (+17 cents) and Wisconsin (+13 cents) versus two weeks ago.

Headlining the supply challenges in the region is the recent shutdown of a segment of the West Shore pipeline, located in Wisconsin. This segment is reportedly undergoing repair and inspections and may be offline for several weeks while the work is being completed. Operational challenges are also being reported at Marathon’s Detroit, MI refinery and ExxonMobil’s Joliet, IL plant.

Despite these supply issues, refinery production has increased over the past few weeks, while supplies are still about nine percent higher than a year ago. In response to recent distribution issues, both Michigan and Wisconsin’s governors took action extending the hours that drivers transporting fuel are permitted to stay on the road. In the near term, gas prices may remain volatile with summertime driving fueling high demand.

Top10-Largest-Two-Week-Increases_6-13-16

 

Central States

Pump prices in the region remain some of the cheapest nationwide with Oklahoma’s average at $2.15, Missouri at $2.19 and Kansas at $2.19 per gallon. Magellan is reporting that a segment of its pipeline, located in Kansas, was taken offline due to heavy rainfall, which caused a portion of the pipeline to be exposed. Service is likely to be suspended for several weeks while the pipeline undergoes repair. Supply in the region is reportedly ample and is believed to be capable of offsetting any shortages resulting from this incident.

 

Gulf Coast

Despite experiencing severe weather, which can sometimes cause prices to move higher due to supply disruptions, gas prices in the Gulf Coast remain relatively low. Every state in the region is represented in the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets, and Mississippi ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.12) and Louisiana ($2.15) are ranked in the nation’s top-five least expensive markets.

The Magellan Midstream Partner’s pipeline is reportedly under repair, following being shut down last week due to flooding in Texas. The pipeline delivers product to a number of markets in the region and its outage might impact regional fuel distribution. Gas prices in the region appear to be unaffected by the outage and are down on the week in every state located in the Gulf Coast. Best estimates suggest that the pipeline will return to operation before the end of the month, and in the interim the company is attempting to address any shortages by altering its delivery schedule.

Southeast

The Southeast is home to the nation’s least expensive market, South Carolina ($2.08). Tropical Storm Colin brought heavy rains and tropical-storm-force winds to the region last week, yet gas prices held steady over this period. Contrary to common expectations, with the exception of West Virginia (+ fractions of a penny), prices fell in every state located in the region week-over-week.

Oil Market Dynamics

After reaching new 2016 highs, crude oil prices retreated to close out the week due to news of a strengthening U.S. dollar and data showing an uptick in the number of U.S. drilling rigs in operation. Both benchmarks opened the week by extending this trend of sliding prices, as concerns of revived production out of the U.S. and global demand concerns begin to resurface. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down $1.49 and settled at $49.07 per barrel.

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.

Julie HallEuropean travel demand remains strong as Americans plan trips to Rome and London; Orlando retains top spot for domestic travel

Additional Resources

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 8, 2016) – Demand for travel to Europe remains strong, and AAA summer travel bookings show that Rome and London are at the top of many international travelers’ itineraries this summer. Americans are also flocking to warm-weather destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean, and increasingly traveling to Canada to take advantage of favorable exchange rates.

The top international summer destinations, based on AAA bookings for travel June 1 through August 15, are:

  1. Rome, Italy (4)
  2. London, England (3)
  3. Cancun, Mexico (1)
  4. Vancouver, Canada (8)
  5. Paris, France (7)
  6. Dublin, Ireland (6)
  7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (2)
  8. Montego Bay, Jamaica (5)
  9. Calgary, Canada
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2015 ranking position.

“Europe remains very popular with American travelers despite recent terrorism concerns,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing. “A strong dollar, discounted pricing and a continued sense of resilience are motivating millions of Americans to venture across the pond for their summer vacations this year.”

On May 31, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Europe, citing the risk of potential terror attacks. Travel alerts are issued for short-term events that travelers should be aware of when planning to visit a country. This differs from a travel warning in which the State Department urges travelers to consider very carefully whether to visit a country or region at all.

“AAA urges travelers to exercise vigilance when traveling and be aware of their immediate surroundings. Determining when and where to travel is very personal,” continued Sutherland. “The strong interest in Europe and even Paris shows that many Americans are undeterred by recent global events.”

Domestically, the great American road trip is back, with nearly 56 percent of Americans planning a drive vacation this summer, according to a recent AAA survey. The lowest summertime gas prices in 11 years are prompting Americans to drive in record numbers. More than half of U.S. adults say low gas prices are prompting them to hit the roads this year.

AAA’s top domestic summer travel destinations include:

  1. Orlando, Fla. (1)
  2. Seattle, Wash.
  3. Los Angeles/Anaheim, Calif. (7)
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii (4)
  5. Las Vegas, Nev.
  6. Anchorage, Alaska
  7. New York, N.Y.
  8. Maui, Hawaii
  9. San Francisco, Calif.
  10. Denver, Colo.

*Number in parentheses indicates summer 2015 ranking position

“Orlando consistently holds the top spot on AAA’s list of most-popular U.S. travel destinations, while southern California has climbed in the rankings,” said Sutherland. “Several newcomers to the list indicate that Americans are looking forward to venturing out this summer and exploring diverse destinations from coast to coast.”

Before setting out on a summer vacation, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, request AAA roadside assistance and more. For in-person travel planning, seek the expert advice of a trusted travel advisor, who can provide personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation. For more information and to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/SummerFun.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 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.

Michael Green Contact TileTightening supply combined with strong gasoline demand contributed to pump prices moving higher over the past week. Today’s average price of $2.36 per gallon represents an increase of four cents per gallon since last week’s Memorial Day Holiday, and drivers are paying 14 cents per gallon more than one month ago to refuel their vehicles. Year-over-year discounts persist due to crude oil prices remaining relatively low, but discounts are beginning to narrow and have closed to 40 cents per gallon versus this same date last year. Additional information about the price at the pump can be accessed on the newly released AAA Gas Prices website, which includes enhanced features and a fresh design.

2013-2016_Avg-Gas-Prices_6-6-16

Drivers are taking to the roads at a record-setting pace, and gasoline demand remains on target to reach unprecedented highs during this year’s summer driving season. Gasoline production is reportedly keeping pace with growing demand, yet unexpected events with production or distribution could lead to higher prices given the fact that millions of Americans are taking road trips this month.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.83), Hawaii ($2.71), Alaska ($2.65), Washington ($2.62), and Michigan ($2.60).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.10), Mississippi ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.13), Oklahoma ($2.13) and Texas ($2.15).
  • The national average moved higher for 25 of the past 26 days, for a total increase of 25 cents per gallon.
  • Today’s average is the lowest for this time of year since 2005.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices_6-6-16

West Coast

A number of refineries in California are reporting challenges, including the newly restarted ExxonMobil Torrance, Calif. plant and Chevron’s El Segundo, Calif. refinery. Reduced gasoline production in the state has historically led to price spikes based on the region’s relative isolation from other markets and its unique fuel specifications, but ample supply in the region is appearing keep prices relatively steady on the week (+/- 3 cents).

States in the region continue to post some of the nation’s highest averages at the pump: California ($2.83), Hawaii ($2.71), Alaska ($2.65) and Washington ($2.62). Nevertheless, the region is doing much better than a year ago with prices at least 50 cents per gallon cheaper: California (-79 cents), Nevada (-76 cents), Alaska (-73 cents), Hawaii (-60 cents), Arizona (-56 cents) and Oregon (-53 cents).

Midwest

Fuel supplies have declined in the Midwest over the past month due to lingering refinery issues, and as a result, drivers in the region are paying some of the nation’s highest averages at the pump. Four of the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are located in the region: Michigan ($2.60), Ohio ($2.60), Illinois ($2.53) and Indiana ($2.51). Meanwhile, drivers in Ohio (+12 cents), Michigan (+9 cents), Kentucky (+9 cents) and Indiana (+7 cents) have seen prices jump more than a nickel per gallon on the week. Additionally, the largest monthly increases in gas prices are seen in Ohio (+41 cents), Michigan (+38 cents) and Indiana (+33 cents), and drivers in every Midwestern state are paying at least a dime more per gallon over this same period.

Refineries in the Midwest have recently increased production to the highest rates since March, though output continues to lag behind last year’s levels. There is hope that the region might soon experience price relief if production continues to increase.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increases_6-6-16

Gulf Coast

On the whole, the Gulf Coast remains home to some of the nation’s lowest averages for retail gasoline. Three of the nation’s five least-expensive markets are located in the region: Mississippi ($2.11), Arkansas ($2.13) and Texas ($2.15). Unplanned refinery maintenance and severe weather are reportedly impacting pump prices in the region and prices moved higher on the week by a nickel or more in Texas (+6 cents) and Louisiana (+5 cents).

Pump prices in the region could fluctuate in the near term due to flooding in Texas, which prompted the closure Magellan Midstream Partner’s pipeline. This pipeline transports products from Gulf Coast refineries to distribution terminals located both in Texas and outside of the region, and is expected to be out of service for approximately two weeks. Supply in the region could be impacted due to its closure, and Magellan is reportedly looking for alternative supply options.

Oil Market Dynamics

Crude oil prices opened the week moving higher as geopolitical tensions in Nigeria threaten to disrupt the country’s production. The lower-than-expected U.S. job growth rate also contributed to expectations that the Fed would refrain from increasing its interest rate. This decision could weaken the U.S. dollar, which typically leads to higher oil prices. At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 55 cents to settle at $48.62 per barrel.

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 JohnsonResearch from AAA Foundation Finds 60% of Teen Crashes Involve Distraction  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 1, 2016)- Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period starting at Memorial Day when teen crash deaths historically climb. As the summer driving season begins, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is releasing a follow-up study confirming that nearly 60 percent of teen crashes involve distractions behind the wheel. The research also finds a disturbing trend showing that texting and social media use are on the rise amongst teen drivers.

Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer months because teens drive more during this time of year. Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

  • An average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers
  • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16 percent per day compared to other days of the year

This year’s new follow-up report from the AAA Foundation is part of the most comprehensive eight-year research project ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Iowa, the AAA Foundation analyzed the moments leading up to a crash in more than 2,200 videos captured from in-car dash cameras. The latest report compared new crash videos with those captured from 2007 -2012 and found consistent trends in the top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:

  • Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle: 15 percent of crashes
  • Talking, texting or operating a cell phone: 12 percent of crashes
  • Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: 11 percent of crashes

“Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver” said Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers. By better understanding how teens are distracted on the road, we can better prevent deaths throughout the 100 Deadliest Days and the rest of the year.”

Additional Resources

Researchers also found that how teens use their cell phone when behind the wheel changed significantly over the course of the study.  In the moments leading up to a crash, teens were more likely to be texting or looking down at the phone than talking on it. This supports findings by Pew Research Center, which shows text messaging has become a key component in day-to-day interactions amongst teenagers. Fifty-five percent of teens spend time every day texting, sending an estimated 80 text messages per day.

“It’s no secret that teens are extremely connected to their cell phones,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA Director of State Relations. “Many teens are texting or using social media behind the wheel more often than in the past, which is making an unsafe situation even worse.”

Research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. A recent AAA Foundation survey shows that nearly 50 percent of teen drivers admitted they had read a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days. NHTSA’s National Occupant Protection Use Survey also shows that from 2007 to 2014, the percentage of young drivers seen visibly manipulating a hand-held device quadrupled.

“Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves,” continues Ryan. “This shows that teen drivers can be a risk to everyone on the road and it is important to regulate their actions when behind the wheel.”

Keeping cell phones out of the hands of teen drivers is a top priority for AAA. The Association’s advocacy efforts are helping to protect teens by working to pass graduated driver licensing laws and teen wireless bans in states across the country.

In preparation for the “100 Deadliest Days”, AAA encourages parents to educate their teen about the dangers of distracted driving and monitor their actions behind the wheel.  Parents should:

  • Have conversations early and often about the dangers of distraction.
  • Make a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules against distracted driving.
  • Teach by example and minimize distractions when driving.

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.

Established by AAA in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, publicly-supported charitable research and educational 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 300 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.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 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.  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.

Michael Green Contact Tile( Washington, May 31, 2016) The 2016 summer driving season is officially underway and drivers are paying the lowest gas prices for this time of year in more than a decade. Gas prices for yesterday’s Memorial Day holiday were the cheapest since 2005 and were down 42 cents per gallon versus last year’s holiday. Today’s average price of $2.32 per gallon represents an increase of three cents per gallon on the week, and consumers are paying 11 cents more per gallon on the month.

2013-2016_Avg-Gas-Prices-5-31-16

This year’s summer driving season is expected to be characterized by higher-than-normal gasoline demand, and demand remains on pace to test record levels reached in 2007. Refineries nationwide are working in preparation for what is likely to be record breaking season and if they are able to keep pace, pump prices should remain relatively lower.

A wildcard for gas prices in the coming months is the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 – November 30. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, this year’s season will likely be near normal, which means of the 10-16 named storms, four to eight could become hurricanes. Should any of these severe storms or hurricanes reach landfall, production, refining and distribution could be impacted. This can lead price spikes in regional markets along the coast and in areas that rely upon crude oil and refined product from these regions.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.81), Hawaii ($2.70), Alaska ($2.61), Washington ($2.60) and Washington, D.C. ($2.51).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.09), Texas ($2.09), South Carolina ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.11) and Louisiana ($2.11).
  • Pump prices averaged $2.32 per gallon for Memorial Day, down 42 cents per gallon versus last year’s holiday.
  • Gas prices averaged $2.25 per gallon in May, which was 44 cents per gallon less than a year ago and the cheapest average for the month since 2005.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-5-31-16

West Coast

ExxonMobil’s Torrance, Calif. refinery has returned to production and is helping to balance regional gasoline supply with growing seasonal demand. Gasoline production in the region is reportedly at its second-highest level for the year, and pump prices on the West Coast have held relatively steady on the week (+/-3 cents). Total gasoline inventories in the region are characterized as unseasonably high and the market appears to be well supplied. As a result, the region is well-represented in the rankings of the top ten largest yearly savings led by: California (-88 cents), Nevada (-80 cents), Alaska (-70 cents), Hawaii (-61 cents) and Arizona (-60 cents).

California ($2.81) and Hawaii ($2.70) remain the nation’s two most expensive markets for retail gasoline, and four of the nation’s top five most expensive markets are also located in the region. Gas prices on the West Coast are generally more expensive due to higher costs associated with getting fuel to market and specific regulations designed to help improve air-quality.

Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast remains home to the nation’s least expensive markets for retail gasoline, Mississippi ($2.09) and Texas ($2.09).  The region continues to weather the impacts of reduced production, due to a number of refineries conducting unplanned maintenance. The latest data from the U.S. EIA reflects a draw in gasoline stocks in the region, but inventories remain well over year-ago levels, and pump prices held relatively steady on the week (+/- 3 cents).

As the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season gets underway, attention will be focused on this region because it is home to over 45 percent of the U.S.’s total petroleum refining capacity. Severe weather can disrupt operations in this region, which can lead to shortages in supply, and historically we have seen this lead to spikes in the price at the pump nationwide.

Top10-Largest-Yearly-Discounts-5-31-16

Midwest

The Midwest is posting the nation’s largest decline in gasoline inventories, which fell for the 15th week straight to 2016 lows. In advance of the Memorial Day Holiday, Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder issued a state of emergency to address potential supply concerns attributed to an outage at Marathon’s Detroit refinery, and supply is described as tight throughout the region. A number of refineries in the region are also reporting challenges, and reduced production, combined with sustained demand, are believed to be behind prices moving noticeably higher in the region.

Gas prices in Michigan ($2.50) and Illinois ($2.48) join in the rankings as the nation’s top 10 most expensive markets, and Indiana (+8 cents), Iowa (+6 cents) and Illinois (+6 cents) are posting the nation’s largest increases in the price of gasoline on the week. Prices are up by a dime or more per gallon in nearly every Midwestern state versus one month ago, and the refinery utilization rate in the region remains the second-lowest nationwide.  Pump prices may remain volatile in the coming weeks as long as refineries issues continue.

East Coast

Gasoline stocks reached their highest level on record for this time of year, imports to the region are also robust and the market is expected to remain well supplied in the near term.  The Northeast is showing the largest year-over-year growth in vehicle miles traveled, followed by the South Atlantic region. This growth in demand appears to be offset by the region’s abundant supply, which should help keep a lid on prices as we enter the busy summer driving season.

Oil Market Dynamics

Over the past week both global crude oil benchmarks, Brent and West Texas Intermediate, exceeded the $50 per barrel threshold due to expectations of tightening supply. The wildfires in the Canadian Oil Sands and geopolitical tensions in Nigeria and Libya helped to boost the price. Crude oil is also reportedly gaining strength on a weakening U.S. dollar which makes oil less expensive for countries holding other currencies. Attention is now focused on OPEC’s next meeting, scheduled for June 2, though the cartel may continue its current course of action and refrain from cutting production to help balance the market.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed down 15 cents to settle at $49.33 per barrel.

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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 23, 2016) Gas prices are at their highest point for the year as we approach the Memorial Day holiday, and the national average has increased for 12 days in a row. Today’s average of $2.28 per gallon is up six cents per gallon on the week and 15 cents per gallon on the month. Despite this increase, drivers remain on target to pay the lowest prices for the Memorial Day holiday since 2005. AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, which is an increase of 700,000 compared to a year ago. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year.

2013-2016_Avg-Gas-Prices-5-23-16

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2.80), Hawaii ($2.66), Washington ($2.59), Alaska ($2.58) and Nevada ($2.49).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.05), South Carolina ($2.06), Arkansas ($2.06), Texas ($2.07) and Missouri ($2.07).
  • For the first time since August 2015, drivers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying averages above $2 per gallon.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-5-23-16

West Coast

California ($2.80) and Hawaii ($2.66) are the two most expensive states in the nation, but prices have remained relatively steady over the past week. Gasoline inventories are posting a surplus in comparison to last year and gasoline production in the region is also on par with year-ago levels.  As a result, drivers in the region are benefitting from some of the nation’s largest yearly savings in the price at the pump. The West Coast states of California (-97 cents), Nevada (-82 cents), Alaska (-69 cents), Arizona (-63 cents) and Hawaii (-63 cents) lead the nation and are posting the largest year-over-year discounts in the price of gas.

Gulf Coast

Drivers in Gulf Coast states continue to pay some of the nation’s least expensive prices at the pump.  Mississippi ($2.05) is the nation’s cheapest state, and six of the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are also located in this region. Consumers in the Gulf Coast have seen prices climb higher on the week with every state posting an increase of a nickel or more per gallon at the pump. Gas prices are reportedly responding to a number of refineries in the region going offline to conduct unplanned maintenance, including Marathon’s Galveston Bay, Texas plant, which is one of the country’s largest and most complex refineries. Despite the region’s production challenges, the market remains well supplied with gasoline and prices are expected to remain relatively low.

Midwest

Regional gasoline inventories decreased for the 14th consecutive week. Interruptions in crude oil deliveries to refineries in the Midwest, due to fires in the Canadian Oil Sands, are challenging the ability of the local market to meet growing demand. Pump prices continue to swing in the region and the Midwestern states of Ohio (+13 cents), Michigan (+13 cents) and Indiana (+11 cents) lead the nation, posting the largest week-over-week increases in the price of gas. Minnesota (+23 cents), Michigan (+21 cents), Wisconsin (+20 cents) and Ohio (+20 cents) rank in the nation’s top 10 largest monthly increases, and every state in the region is posting double-digit increases over this time period.

Planned and unplanned refinery maintenance is also causing prices to fluctuate in the region. Output at BP’s Whiting, Indiana plant and the BP-Husky plant in Toledo, Ohio are expected to be limited for the next few weeks. Growing gasoline demand within the region, combined with supply challenges, are likely to contribute to prices remaining volatile leading into the summer driving season.

East Coast

One of the largest refineries on the East Coast, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex, experienced a fire Friday afternoon. The extent of the damage is still being assessed, and regardless of any downtime associated with this incident, prices in the region are expected to remain relatively steady due to the abundant supply of gasoline and inventories in the New York Harbor region.

Oil Market Dynamics

Global crude oil prices recently moved higher due to unexpected declines in oil production in various parts of the world, such as Canada and Nigeria. This rally was short lived and the market once again reflected a bearish sentiment following reports of a strengthening U.S. dollar and questionable global demand. The United States’ role as swing producer is also garnering attention, with domestic production falling to its lowest levels since September 2014. Market watchers are paying close attention to how domestic producers are responding to changes in the global price of crude and the impact of their actions on the global oil prices.  At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI closed out the week down 41 cents to settle at $47.75 per barrel.

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.

Julie HallThe great American road trip is back; Memorial Day travel volume will be second-highest on record

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 19, 2016) – AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30.

Additional Resources

“Americans are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade,” said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. “The great American road trip is officially back thanks to low gas prices, and millions of people from coast to coast are ready to kick off summer with a Memorial Day getaway.”

AAA estimates that Americans have saved more than $15 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and prices are at the lowest levels in 11 years. The strong labor market and rising personal income are also motivating people to travel for Memorial Day this year.

Low gas prices driving increase in auto travel this Memorial Day

Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will fall 2.3 percent, to 1.6 million travelers.

Lowest Memorial Day gas prices in 11 years expected

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline today is $2.26, 45 cents less than last year. AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices since 2005. According to a recent AAA survey, 55 percent of Americans say they are more likely to take a road trip this year due to lower gas prices.

Airfares, hotel and car rental rates

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 26 percent cheaper this Memorial Day, with an average roundtrip ticket costing $165. Hotel costs are in line with last Memorial Day. AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels will average $183, while a AAA Two Diamond Rated hotel will average $151 nightly. Daily car rental rates will average $62, three percent less than last year.

AAA to rescue more than 350,000 motorists this Memorial Day

AAA expects to rescue more than 350,000 motorists during the Memorial Day holiday travel period, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the nearly 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

Memorial Day travelers heading to warm weather destinations & cities

Many Memorial Day travelers will head to warm weather destinations and historic American cities to kick off their summer travels. The top destinations this Memorial Day weekend, based on AAA.com and AAA travel agency sales, are:

  1. Orlando
  2. Myrtle Beach
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. New York
  5. Miami
  6. San Francisco
  7. Boston
  8. Honolulu
  9. Los Angeles
  10. South Padre Island

Download the AAA Mobile app before a Memorial Day getaway

Before setting out for Memorial Day, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

With the AAA Mobile app, travelers can also find more than 58,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants via TripTik Travel Planner. AAA’s is the only rating system that uses full-time, professionally trained evaluators to inspect each property on an annual basis. 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 2016 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast can be found here.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 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.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, May 9, 2016) The national average price of gas declined slightly on the week, and it is possible that prices have begun to stabilize has refineries increase production to meet record-high demand. Today’s average price of $2.21 per gallon represents an increase of 17 cents per gallon on the month, and prices have moved higher for 23 of the past 31 days. Despite this recent trend higher, retail averages are down by one cent per gallon on the week, and drivers continue to benefit from year-over-year discounts, saving 45 cents per gallon on the year.

2013-2016_Avg-Gas-Prices-5-9-16

According to the latest data from the U.S. EIA, total U.S. gasoline supplies are at their highest levels to start May on record. Historically gasoline demand increases leading into the summer driving season, and this year so far is no different. However, lower gas prices are contributing to drivers taking to the roads at record levels and the 2016 summer driving season is expected to rival 2007 when gasoline demand hit an all-time high.

Gasoline demand reached its fourth-highest weekly estimate for 2016 and remains well above year-over-year levels. Although the market is well supplied with product, the notable growth in gasoline demand could cause pump prices to become volatile leading into the summer driving season. Refineries nationwide are ramping up production, which should help increase supplies in regional markets. This is good news for the average driver, because if supply can keep pace with demand, averages should remain relatively low and drivers should continue to benefit from comparative savings at the pump.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top five most expensive markets are: California ($2. 80), Hawaii ($2. 64), Washington ($2.49), Nevada ($2.48) and Alaska ($2.46).
  • The nation’s top five least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.95), Kansas ($1.98), Missouri ($1.98), Texas ($2.00) and Arkansas ($2.00).
  • Averages are down nationwide year-over-year, with the largest yearly savings experienced by drivers on the West Coast: California (-91 cents), Nevada (-73 cents), Alaska (-69 cents), Oregon ( -60 cents), Hawaii (-59 cents) and Arizona (-55 cents).
  • Gas prices are up by more than a quarter per gallon month-over-month in Utah (+29 cents), Delaware (+27 cents), Idaho (+26 cents) and West Virginia (+26 cents).
  • The most common price at the pump is $2.099 per gallon.

West Coast
Drivers on the West Coast continue to pay the nation’s highest averages for retail gasoline, and the nation’s top five most expensive markets are all in this region: California ($2. 80), Hawaii ($2. 64), Washington ($2.49), Nevada ($2.48) and Alaska ($2.46). Gasoline stocks grew on the week and remain well above levels commonplace for this time of year, which should keep prices relatively steady as more drivers take to the roads.

Top10-Highest-Average-Gas-Prices-5-9-16

ExxonMobil’s Torrance Calif. refinery delayed the restart of its fluid catalytic cracker and associated gasoline production units due to unexpected operational delays. Gasoline production is not expected to be at full capacity until later in the month, and the return of this refinery is expected to help offset some of the growing demand in the state and region.

Gulf Coast
On the other end of the spectrum, the Gulf Coast remains the nation’s least expensive markets for gas. Every state in the region is represented in the nation’s top ten least expensive markets for retail gasoline: Texas ($2.00), Arkansas ($2.00), Louisiana ($2.01), Mississippi ($2.01), Alabama ($2.04) and New Mexico ($2.04). Pump prices are typically lower in this region of the country, based on its proximity to a large number of refineries.

According to the latest data from the U.S. EIA, high inventories and production characterize the Gulf Coast, and the refinery utilization rate also grew in the region on the week. The supply of gasoline is reported to be ample, and prices within the region should remain on the lower end of the spectrum as we enter the busy summer driving season, provided there are no unexpected disruptions.

Midwest
As has often been the case in recent years, volatility continues to characterize pump prices in the Midwest. Retail averages are down double digits on the week in Indiana (-13 cents), Ohio (-13 cents), and Michigan (-10 cents). This is in contrast to last week’s report, where each of the abovementioned states were posting double digit increases week-over-week. Gasoline inventories in the Midwest fell for the 12th consecutive week due to growing demand and heavy refinery maintenance, but remain above year-over-year levels.

Top10-Largest-Monthly-Increases_5-9-16

The region is also home to some of the nation’s lowest pump prices: Oklahoma ($1.95), Kansas ($1.98) and Missouri ($1.98), which are the only three states with averages below $2 per gallon.

The wildfires in the Canadian Oil Sands may potentially impact drivers in the Midwest because crude oil from this region is sold and refined in the Midwest. Disruptions in this oil supply could result in higher costs for refiners, which could lead to higher gas prices. Prices in the region are likely to remain volatile in the near term, and will continue to reflect the ability of supply to keep pace with demand.

East Coast
Gasoline inventories are up on the East Coast and the return of a few refineries to production in the region are also contributing to the overall expected growth in U.S. refining production. The regional market is well supplied with product, though three of the top ten most expensive markets are located in the region: Pennsylvania ($2.40), Washington, D.C. ($2.39) and New York ($2.38). On the whole, gas prices in the region have been steady, moving by +/-2 cents per gallon over the past week.

Oil Market Dynamics
The possibility of disrupted supply from the Canadian Oil Sands influenced the global price of crude oil over the past week; however, expectations of reduced supply were largely overshadowed by news of increased production out of Iran and other OPEC and non-OPEC nations. Iran reportedly reached pre-sanction production levels, and as production countries continue to fight for market share, the global oil market is likely to remain oversupplied.

Global oil prices rallied over the weekend due to news that the longtime Saudi Arabian oil minister would be replaced. This sentiment was short-lived as reports quickly surfaced that the world’s largest exporter would maintain its current course and attempt to defend its market share by sustaining production levels. Oversupply is likely to continue to characterize the global oil market and attention will remain focused on output from non-OPEC countries and any other factors that may help bring supply and demand into balance.

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI was up 34 cents and settled at $44.66 per barrel.

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.

Podcasts

B-Roll

YouTube Videos

AAA Senior Driver Expos

NewsRoom Video Gallery

Media: Find and Download AAA Videos and B Roll.