ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — Despite New York average gas prices hovering around $4.81 on Friday, AAA says it doesn’t expect summer travel to slow down.
“Memorial Day showed near pre-pandemic levels and we expect the same or similar July 4th,” says Mike Sweeney, traffic safety engineer at AAA Hudson Valley.
Despite recent gas tax breaks, gas station prices have not come down much in many areas. This is forcing drivers across New York to think hard about other ways to save money.
“People rethink all their decisions. Some of the trips that you are going to take this summer, maybe it will be a five-day trip, and you will turn it into a three-day trip,” explains Sweeney Michaele Singleton of NEWS10. “Maybe eat less out of the house or spend less. Everything you buy is affected by delivery by a truck or train that delivers goods around the country. It affects everything and you can’t separate high fuel prices and inflation.”
You can still get a good return on all those dollars you spend on gas and save your summer vacation plans. Sweeney says AAA recently did a study on drag and what your gas can absorb, slowing you down.
“If you’re constantly driving on the highway, the drag with the windows open will be greater than the losses from the air conditioner on,” he says.
He says that constantly driving with a roof rack or extra weight in the car also increases drag. Rich Burnley of Warren Tire says tire pressure is another added factor.
“10-15% less gas mileage for just one tire that weighs 10 pounds,” he says.
He also adds that you shouldn’t keep stalling if you still have those winter tires.
“When you look at a winter tire, there are two things: it is a softer compound that will run faster in the summer months, you really want to take them off in the spring as soon as you can, it will affect gas mileage. a winter tire is built for high grip,” says Burnley.
They say the best thing you can do for yourself is just be a smart driver and follow the safety rules you already know you should.
“They will tell you that somewhere between 55 and 60 is the best gas mileage. You wouldn’t know that when you were driving on the roads here,” Burnley laughs.
“Very fast acceleration and very hard braking also consume more fuel, so there are things that combine safety and vehicle efficiency at the same time,” says Sweeney.