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Gas Prices May Change Some Spring Break Plans

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor


Image from the AAA gas price website.

Oxford has some of the most expensive gas in the state, according to AAA.

Of the state’s 82 counties, Lafayette County is in the top 17 counties with the highest gas prices.

The average price in Oxford on Friday was $4.05 (regular) a gallon. The highest gas can be found in Claiborne County where the average price is $4.30 a gallon and the lowest gas can be found in Montgomery County where gas is $3.86 a gallon.

According to the American Automobile Association, the national average on Friday was $4.331 a gallon, setting a record for the fourth day in a row. The previous record was $4.10 set in 2008 before the recession.

With spring break for the University of Mississippi and local K-12 schools next week, the rise in gas prices has caused some people to rethink their spring break plans.

Hotty Toddy News asked readers this week if gas prices were affecting their spring break plans.

About 48 percent answered that gas prices were affecting their plans and 52 percent said gas prices did not affect their plans.

One reader who voted that gas prices were affecting their plans responded “Yup. Spring Break is now a trip to the grocery store and Home Depot.” One reader said they were going to stay put once they arrived at their destination. Another said they were flying because it was cheaper.

With the pandemic slowing down, more people are traveling again. According to AAA, flights, tours, car rentals and hotels booked for the next two months are up 211 percent over 2021.

AAA offers the following advice to help drivers ease some of the pain they’re feeling at the pump:

1. Plan your trips

Map a route before you go to minimize unnecessary turnarounds and backtracking. Avoid peak traffic times. Combine errands and go to “one-stop shops” where you can do multiple tasks (banking, shopping, etc.).

2. Watch your speed

Fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase. Reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy from 7 to 14 percent.

3. Drive conservatively

Avoid “jackrabbit” starts, rapid acceleration and hard braking, which can lower fuel economy by 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds and 10 to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic.

4. Avoid excessive idling

A car engine consumes one quarter to one-half gallon of fuel per hour when idling, but a warm engine only takes around 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. Where safe to do so, shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.

5. Use a “fast pass” on toll roads

Having a pre-paid pass on toll roads allows you to use the express lane, saving fuel by minimizing or eliminating tollbooth slowdowns and stops.

6. Avoid rush hour

Take advantage of flex work hours to avoid commuting during peak traffic times.

7. Anticipate road conditions

Watch the traffic ahead and “time” stoplights to maintain momentum and avoid unnecessary stop and go.

8. Use cruise control

Driving at a consistent speed on the highway saves gas. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads as it could cause a loss of vehicle control.

9. Shift gears efficiently

If your car has a manual transmission, upshift as soon as practical. When coming to a stop, use the brakes. Do not downshift to slow the car.

10. Drive to warm the engine

In cold temperatures, start the engine and then drive the car normally to warm the engine. Driving brings the engine to operating temperature more rapidly and thus, saves gas.

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