According to AAA, for the first quarter of the year, gas prices have been expensive. On average, motorists are paying a quarter more than at the same time last year. While pump prices have dipped in recent weeks, this is not a trend consumers should expect to linger. AAA forecasts the national gas price average will be as much as $2.70/gallon this spring — a costly pump price Americans have not paid since summer of 2015 when prices hit $2.81.
AAA does not expect the national gas price to be reminiscent of 2011-2014, when motorists were paying on average $3.47 per gallon. While some states, like California, may see $4 per gallon, it will be temporary.
Fuel Savings Tips for Consumers
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s American Driving Survey, on average, Americans drive 32 miles a day and spend 51 minutes behind the wheel. AAA Kansas offers a few ways to conserve fuel:
• Slow down. The faster you drive the more fuel you use. Every 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.18 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy.
• Share work or school rides by carpooling or consider public transportation.
• Do not use your trunk for storage. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
• Combine errands. If possible, park in a central spot and walk from place to place.
Gas prices in Great Bend followed a national trend this week, continuing its decline of the past couple of weeks. The average gas price across Kansas is now $2.37 per gallon, which is two cents less than one week ago. Motorists in the Sunflower State and across the country, however, should not expect falling prices to continue.
“Lower demand for gasoline over the second half of February has given us some relief at the pumps,” AAA Kansas spokesman Shawn Steward said. “Kansas still has the 13th lowest gas prices in the country, but it is looking like we may all need to prepare to pay more soon.”
The 10 Kansas cities regularly highlighted by AAA Kansas showed a mixed bag this week, with seven cities experiencing lower gas prices. Lawrence remained flat, while Manhattan (+4 cents) and Pittsburg (+1) rose. Leading the price declines were Garden City (-8) and Emporia and Kansas City, which both fell 4 cents per gallon.
According to GasBuddy.com, average retail gasoline prices in Kansas have fallen 1.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.36 per gallon Wednesday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,329 gas outlets in Kansas. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.50 per gallon.
Including the change in gas prices in Kansas during the past week, prices yesterday were 21.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 6.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 7.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 22.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
“Even as oil prices were in rally mode to end last week, gasoline prices continued lower with the national average moving lower for the third consecutive week. But March typically comes in more like a lamb and goes out like a lion, and I certainly would expect more fireworks at the pump as temperatures begin to warm and gasoline demand begins to perk up,” GasBuddy analysis Patrick DeHaan said,