May 1st, 2013 by admin
Despite popular belief, senior drivers engage in safe driving habits especially older women
WASHINGTON, D.C., (May 1, 2013)–Nine in 10 older drivers buckle up when they get behind the wheel and more than a third have taken driver improvement courses, according to data surveying more than 7,000 seniors. Survey findings, collected by AAA, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and AARP also reveal that twice the number of women attended driver safety courses despite the fact that older men drove more often than older women by 12 percent. AAA is promoting the data to help debunk the perception that older drivers are a menace on the road.
“The silver tsunami is often unfairly dubbed as risky and dangerous. These data tell us that they practice safe driving behaviors and that more than a third of older drivers have actively sought out and participated in programs to improve their skills,” says AAA’s Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research Jake Nelson. The findings were collected from drivers who participated in CarFit, a free program offered by AAA, AOTA and AARP. Typically offered at community events, CarFit runs drivers and their vehicles through a twelve-point checklist with trained technicians who assess the fit of a driver’s car by checking for optimum and safe settings such as distance from and sight line above the steering wheel and proper mirrors settings.
According to CarFit participant data, the top four “fit” challenges for older drivers included improper distance from steering wheel (59 percent); adequate and safe views from side mirrors (32 percent); improper seat height (28 percent) and improper head restraint height (21 percent). The good news is that after a run through the CarFit twelve-point program, 97 percent of participants’ issues were resolved.
Since CarFit launched nationally, more than 31,000 older drivers have gone through the program. “While the primary goal is to teach drivers how to attain a safe and comfortable fit, the program also increases awareness that adaptations and modifications are available when medical conditions or changes make finding the best fit difficult,” says occupational therapist Elin Schold David of AOTA. “CarFit benefits the whole community by helping the senior driver be a safer driver.”
Other survey data revealed that more than half (52 percent) of drivers 65 and older typically drive seven days a week. “Even when they’re driving every day, seniors do not pose a disproportionate threat on the roads,” said Nelson. “In fact, drivers in their mid-to-late 80s have lower crash rates per mile driven than drivers in their early 20s and roughly half the crash rate of teenagers.”
As a leading road safety advocate for more than 110 years, AAA provides expert advice and helpful resources for older adults and their families—working to support them as they tackle the challenges of balancing safety and mobility. SeniorDriving.AAA.com provides convenient, online access to a wealth of interactive material and AAA’s Senior Driver Safety Expos offer a local hands-on opportunity to sample AAA’s suite of free tools and programs.
To view results from AAA’s survey of older drivers visit NewsRoom.AAA.com. For more information on AAA’s free resources for senior drives and their families, visit SeniorDriving.AAA.com. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 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.
April 30th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013)
Motorists Pay Lowest Springtime Gas Prices in Three Years
- Gas prices nationally averaged $3.55 per gallon in April, which was the least expensive average for the month since 2010. Gas prices dropped about 13 cents per gallon in April (3.5 percent), which was the largest percentage decline for the month in ten years. In comparison, gas prices in 2012 averaged $3.89 for the month, while the average price in April 2011 was $3.79 per gallon.
- “Gas prices in much of the country have declined this spring because of lower oil costs, ample refinery production and continued weak demand,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Gas prices have fallen faster and earlier than ever before for this time of year, and it is saving motorists millions of dollars per day in lower fuel costs.”
- The national average price of gas for April 30, 2013 is $3.51 per gallon, which is the fourth highest on record for this day. The national average a year ago was $3.82 per gallon, while the average on this day in 2011 was $3.93 per gallon and in 2008 it was $3.62 per gallon.
- AAA has no record of gas prices previously peaking in February, yet the highest average of the year so far is $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27. Since that time, the average price nationally has dropped 50 out of 62 days for a total of 28 cents per gallon. The peak price in 2012 was $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6, while the peak in 2011 was $3.98 on May 5.
- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices dropped below $87 per barrel in mid-April, which was the lowest closing price since December. The price of WTI began the month at more than $97 per barrel and closed yesterday at $94.50 per barrel. Oil and commodity prices dropped earlier in the month as a result of expectations of yet another “spring swoon” for the economy.
- Half of U.S. adults consider gas prices to be “too high” when it reaches $3.44 per gallon, according to a new consumer index developed by AAA. Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.00 per gallon; 61 percent believe it is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon; and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4.00 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans are offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.
Gas Prices Should Drop to $3.20-$3.40 During Summer Driving Season
- Gas prices should drop to $3.20 to $3.40 per gallon by mid-summer if current trends continue in regards to oil prices, motorist demand and refinery production. Gas prices in recent years have declined in early summer after reaching a springtime peak as refineries ramp up gasoline production in anticipation of the summer driving season.
- “Families taking trips this summer can expect to pay lower gas prices than recent years as long as there are not any refinery problems or significant international news events,” continued Ash. “Lower prices should bring at least some relief to everyone going on vacation, but it is clear that millions of motorists will continue to believe that prices are too high for this time of year.”
- Over the next few weeks average prices nationally could remain flat or even rise slightly as some maintenance and production issues continue. Prices in the Great Lakes region, in particular, could rise as a result of both scheduled and unscheduled refinery maintenance. Gas stations in many parts of the country also must begin selling more expensive summer-blend gasoline by June 1 in order to meet federal air quality standards.
Cheapest Gas Prices Predominately in the Southeastern United States
- The cheapest gas prices are predominately in the Southeast where extensive refinery production and lower-than-average taxes have helped keep prices low in comparison to the rest of the country. Gas prices in the Great Lakes region have increased in recent weeks because of planned refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages following recent heavy storms.
- Motorists in every state in the continental U.S. are paying less than $4 per gallon for gasoline. The only state paying above that threshold is Hawaii, which generally is the most expensive gasoline market in the country.
- The five states with the highest averages today include: Hawaii ($4.34), Alaska ($3.97), Ill. ($3.91), Calif. ($3.90) and Mich. ($3.79). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: S.C. ($3.23), Tenn. ($3.26), Ala. ($3.27), Ark. ($3.27) and Miss. ($3.28).
Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA.
Statement by AAA CEO & President Bob Darbelnet on the nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the new US DOT Secretary
April 29th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 29, 2013) “AAA is encouraged by President Obama’s nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation. We look forward to working with Mayor Foxx once confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and we are hopeful that he will help make transportation a top national priority. Mayor Foxx will face many challenges because the nation must address a significant transportation funding shortfall, and there are still too many Americans losing their lives on the nation’s roadways.
AAA appreciates retiring Secretary Ray LaHood’s unwavering commitment and bipartisanship in achieving national transportation goals. Secretary LaHood helped raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and worked with AAA and other stakeholders towards a national goal of zero traffic deaths. His bipartisan efforts also helped achieve passage of a multi-year transportation bill, MAP-21, which included significant program reform and added funds for transportation.”
April 8th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 8. 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.59. This price is four cents less expensive than one week ago, 11 cents less than one month ago and 34 cents less than one year ago. Today’s 34-cent year-over-year decline is the largest such mark since October 20, 2009. The national average has now fallen for 5 straight days and 34 of 40 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
Motorists in every state are enjoying year-over-year price relief at the pump, including declines of more than 40 cents per gallon in nine states. Month-over-month relief has been nearly as universal with drivers in only four states in the Mountain West paying more than they did a month ago: Utah (13 cents), Idaho (5 cents), Colo. (3 cents) and Mont. (2 cents).
Retail gas prices across the country surged to begin 2013, as the national average increased 49 cents through the end of February. This was the largest increase on record for the first two months of a year. The run up was only somewhat attributed to higher crude oil prices and was instead driven by a decline in refinery production and higher gasoline futures prices. Similarly, the recent decline following the dramatic rise has not been a product of lower crude oil prices, which have actually increased during this stretch. Falling retail gas prices have instead been the result of an increase in refinery production and economic concerns, which have raised demand concerns.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has traded in a relatively narrow range of $7.82 in 2013 in comparison to recent years. WTI began the year at $93.12 and increased to a year-to-date peak of $97.94 on January 30 before settling as low as $90.12 on March 4. By comparison, WTI traded in a $22.40 range during the first quarter of 2011 (a low of $84.32 on February 15, a high of $106.72 on March 31) and a $13.41 range during the same period in 2012 (a low of $96.36 on February 2, a high of $109.77 on February 24).
After economic concerns sent WTI tumbling during the second half of last week, prices recovered slightly today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX WTI settled 66 cents higher at $93.36 per barrel.
April 1st, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 1 ,2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.63. This price is four cents less expensive than one week ago, 12 cents less than one month ago and 29 cents less than one year ago. The national average has fallen for 12 consecutive days and 29 of 33 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27.
At the state level, prices have fallen for drivers in the vast majority of the country. Forty-two states have a lower average price today than one week ago, led by declines of more than a dime in three states: Ind. (15 cents), Ohio (14 cents) and Mich. (12 cents). Forty-five states and Washington D.C. have a lower average price than one month ago, led by declines of more than 20 cents in five states: Ohio (24 cents), Ga. (24 cents), Mich. (21 cents), Fla. (21 cents) and Ind. (20 cents). The only five states where motorists pay a higher average price than one month ago are in the Mountain West: Idaho (0.03 cents), Colo. (0.6 cents), Utah (4 cents), Wyo. (4 cents) and Mont. (5 cents).
Despite experiencing the two largest month-over-moth increases at the pump, motorists in Wyo. and Mont. still pay the least in the nation for a gallon of gasoline at $3.33 and $3.36 respectively. Drivers in only two states pay an average of more than $4.00 (Hawaii $4.38 and Calif. $4.04), which is the fewest since February 19.
While retail gas prices declined steadily in March, oil prices creeped higher on signs of continued economic recovery. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) began the month with what was at the time it’s lowest settlement of the year ($90.68 per barrel) before rising to end March at it’s highest price since February 14 ($97.23). Prices retreated slightly today as WTI settled 16 cents lower at $97.07 per barrel at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.
April 1st, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, April 1, 2013)
Gas Prices Nearly 30 Cents per Gallon Less Expensive than Last Spring
- The national average price of gasoline decreased during March for the first time in 10 years, and gas prices now average nearly 30 cents per gallon less than a year ago. The national average should remain less expensive than last year’s prices this spring.
- Today’s national average is $3.63 per gallon, which compares to $3.92 per gallon a year ago. The national average decreased 15 cents per gallon (3.9 percent) last month, which was the first month-over-month decline for March since 2003, when the average decreased by one cent per gallon.
- “It is very unusual for gas prices to decline in early spring like we have seen this year,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash. “An increase in refinery production and lower oil prices in early March have combined to provide rare falling prices for motorists in comparison to recent years.”
- The national average reached $3.79 per gallon on Feb. 27, which currently is the highest average price for 2013. Since that time the national average has dropped 29 out of 33 days.
- The national average increased 34 cents (10 percent) per gallon from the beginning of the year ($3.29) through the end of the first quarter of 2013. Last year, gas prices increased nearly twice as much during the first quarter with a rise 65 cents (20 percent) per gallon.
- This week marks the one-year anniversary of the 2012 peak in gas prices, when the national average reached $3.94 per gallon on April 5 and 6. Gas prices peaked in 2011 at $3.98 per gallon on May 5.
- Gas prices declined in March as many refineries resumed normal operations following the completion of seasonal maintenance. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also remained relatively low for much of the month. Gas prices spiked in late January through February primarily because of supply concerns with refineries in February processing the lowest amount of crude oil in nearly two years due to extensive maintenance and facility upgrades.
Gas Prices in April Should Remain Less Expensive than Recent Years
- Gas prices in April should remain less expensive than in recent years because oil is cheaper and refinery production is rising. The price of WTI crude oil is about $6 per barrel less than a year ago, while refinery utilization has increased by about five percent since early March, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
- “AAA has no record of gas prices ever peaking in February, and it is too early to say whether prices may have hit a high for the first half of the year,” continued Ash. “While it is possible that gas prices may surge briefly again this spring, the national average should remain less than last year’s high of $3.94 per gallon. Yet even with the recent declines, we cannot lose track of the fact that gasoline remains very expensive for many American motorists.”
- Much of the country must transition to more expensive summer-blend gasoline and there is still refinery maintenance left to complete, which could result in a brief surge in gas prices.
- AAA expects the average price of gas in 2013 will be less than last year as a result of increased domestic production and continued low demand.
Fewer Americans Paying $4 per Gallon for Gasoline
- Motorists in only two states are paying an average of more than $4 per gallon for gasoline today, which includes Hawaii ($4.38) and California ($4.04). This contrasts with a month ago when 60 million Americans (20 percent) lived in a state where gas prices averaged more than $4 per gallon.
- The five states with the highest gas price averages today include: Hawaii ($4.383), Calif. ($4.044), Alaska ($3.998), N.Y. ($3.893) and Conn. ($3.873). The five states with the cheapest gas price averages today include: Wyo. ($3.328), Mont. ($3.358), S.C. ($3.411), Tenn. ($3.425) and Ark. ($3.436).
Learn how to save money on gas with a few simple tips from AAA.
AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
March 25th, 2013 by admin
( WASHINGTON, March 25, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.67. This price is two cents less than one week ago, eleven cents less expensive than one month ago and 23 cents less than the average price one year ago. The national average has fallen for five consecutive days and 22 of 26 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27.
It is still too soon to say whether retail prices have peaked for the spring because there is still refinery maintenance to be completed and much of the country has yet to transition to summer-blend gasoline. However, with the national average falling further below the year-ago price, AAA continues to predict that the national average will crest lower than recent years. In 2011 the national average for regular unleaded peaked at $3.98 on May 5. In 2012 the price peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6.
As the national average price of gasoline has drifted lower, motorists in the vast majority of states have felt welcome relief at the pump. Drivers in 41 states and Washington D.C. pay less today than one month ago, led by declines of more than 20 cents in Georgia and Minnesota. The only states paying more than one month ago are some Western states: Mont. (11.2 cents), Wyo. (8.4 cents), Wash. (6.4 cents), Alaska (4.4 cents), Ore. (4 cents), Hawaii (3.8 cents), N.M. (2.1 cents), Ariz. (1.2 cents) and Utah (0.8 cents). Motorists in every state pay less today for gas than they paid on the same day in 2012, and every state, with the exception of North Dakota (-3.6 cents), has an average price that is at least a dime less than a year ago.
Oil markets kept a wary eye on signs of economic instability overseas last week, following discussions of a 10 billion euro bailout package for Cyprus. While that country accounts for just 0.2% of the economic activity in the eurozone, there were some concerns that instability could spread to other economies if an agreement was not reached. Following news over the weekend that a bailout deal had been agreed to crude oil prices moved higher today. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled up $1.26 at $93.71 per barrel.
March 21st, 2013 by admin
Statement by AAA President & CEO Robert L. Darbelnet:
“Today’s action by the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a continuing resolution is a victory for highway safety. The U.S. Senate served the nation’s interests through a bipartisan effort to ensure that MAP-21′s highway safety programs were adequately funded, which President Obama supported. Over the last few weeks, AAA clubs from around the country weighed in to get this done.
Safety funding comes at a crucial time, as we are now seeing a slight uptick in roadway fatalities. Today’s action was a good example of bipartisan collaboration that will help deliver better transportation solutions for the American people.”
March 19th, 2013 by admin
“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today gave the nation’s bridges a “C+” grade, up from a “C” four years ago; and roads got a “D” grade, up from a “D-” in 2009. The good news for drivers is that the condition of the nation’s roads and bridges has improved slightly since the last report card was issued. The bad news is grades like these aren’t going to get us where we need to go in terms of safety, mobility or economic recovery.
We don’t want a C+ economy, and can’t settle for a D, or even C+ transportation system. We need Congress to take the lead, work toward a long term funding solution and ensure the American public understands the importance of investing in our transportation system before we fall further behind.”
March 18th, 2013 by admin
(WASHINGTON, March 18, 2013) Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68. This price is a penny less than one week ago, fractions of a penny less expensive than one month ago and fifteen cents less than the average price one year ago. Today is the first day since January 11 that the average price at the pump has registered a month-over-month decline. The national average has fallen for five consecutive days and 17 of 19 days since the peak 2013 price to date of $3.79 on Feb. 27.
As the national average price at the pump has drifted lower, motorists across the country have experienced varying degrees of price relief. Drivers in 38 states and Washington D.C. pay less today than they did last Monday and those in 28 states pay less than one month ago.
Prices in Ind. (11.7 cents), Ohio (9.5 cents), Ky. (7.3 cents) and Mich. (7.0 cents) are each more than a nickel higher than one week ago, although, as reflected in the chart above, these are also some of the same states that have seen the largest month-over-month declines. Prices in nine states and Washington D.C. are at least a dime more than one month ago.
While the recent price movement has varied by state, the year-over-year savings have been nearly universal. Motorists in every state, with the exception of North Dakota, pay less than the same day last year, led by nine states where prices have dropped by at least 20 cents and one state (Ill.) where the price is more than 30 cents lower.
After declining during the second half of February, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices have posted slight gains in recent weeks on positive economic news. These gains continued today, despite traders keeping a wary eye on fresh signs of economic instability in the eurozone, centered on a 10-billion-euro bailout package for Cyprus. Crude oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars. When economies weaken overseas, the dollar strengthens and the price of oil becomes relatively more expensive. Oil futures subsequently become a less attractive investment, which is expected to exert downward pressure on prices. While the value of the U.S. dollar did rise today, WTI futures managed to eek out a gain as well, settling 29 cents higher at $93.74 at the close of formal trading on the NYMEX.