ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Despite average New York gas prices hovering around $4.81 on Friday, AAA says they don’t expect summertime travel to slow down. “Memorial Day showed near pre-pandemic levels and we expect the same or similar for the 4th of July,” says AAA Hudson Valley Traffic Safety Engineer Mike Sweeney.
Despite a newly implemented gas tax holiday, prices at the pump haven’t gone down much in many areas. That leaves drivers across New York thinking hard on other ways to save.
“People are rethinking all their decisions. Some of those road trips that you’re going to take this summer, maybe it was going to be a five-day trip and you turn it down into a three-day trip,” Sweeny explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton. “Maybe eating out less or spending less. Everything you buy is affected by the trucking or the train that brings the products around the country. Everything is affected and you can’t really separate high fuel prices and inflation.”
You can still get pretty good bang for all those bucks you spend at the pump and preserve your summer holiday plans. Sweeney says AAA recently did a study on drag and what can eat up your gas while slowing you down.
“If you’re doing all highway driving, the drag with the windows open would be greater than the loss of having the air conditioning on,” he says.
He says always driving with a roof rack or extra weight in the vehicle also add to drag. Rich Burnley of Warren Tire says tire pressure is another added factor.
“Anywhere from 10 to 15 percent less gas mileage with just one tire that’s down 10 pounds,” he says.
He further adds you shouldn’t keep stalling if you’ve still got those winter tires on.
“When you’re looking at a snow tire, two things: it’s a softer compound which will work quicker in the summer months, you do want to get those off as soon as you can in the spring, it will affect gas mileage being that a snow tire is made for high traction,” Burnley says.
The best thing you could do for yourself they say is just be a smart driver and follow those safety rules you already know you should.
“They will tell you that somewhere between 55 to 60 is the best gas mileage. You wouldn’t know that driving the roads around here,” laughs Burnley.
“Accelerating very fast and braking very hard also uses more fuel, so there are things that combine between the safety element and the efficiency of the car at the same time,” Sweeney says.