If you own a car, it's likely that you've noticed something rather disturbing at the gas pump lately: high gas prices -- now averaging $3.56 a gallon across the country and up nearly 30 cents from the start of the year.
I don't have to tell you that there are few issues that anger drivers more than rising gas prices -- especially drivers who live in cities that have seen the highest increases. But before we look at ways to offset the price at the pump, let's look at the areas of the country with the highest gas prices:
According to Gas Buddy, the states with the highest gas prices are Hawaii, California, New York, Alaska, Connecticut, and Washington, DC with drivers paying anywhere from $3.80 to a little over $4 per gallon. The last time gas topped $4 was 2008, and experts predict that prices could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.
Of course, it's tempting to blame Obama for the surge -- this IS an election year after all. But, in fact, the U.S. government (including the president) have very little direct control over setting gas prices, and the reasons for rising prices have more to do with supply and demand. Instead of pointing fingers, it might be more beneficial to you to look at ways you can save at the pump (without moving to Wyoming, Colorado, or Utah -- the states with the lowest gas prices). Here are some ideas until, hopefully, the prices fall again:
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-Drive less. One good way to do this is to consolidate all errands into one trip. Another option? Carpool.
-Trade in that giant SUV for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. If you can't afford that right now, and your family has more than one car, consider using the larger cars for short errands, and the smaller, more fuel efficient car for longer trips.
-Slow down on highways: Peak efficiency for most cars is between 45 and 55 miles per hour.
-Create less drag in your vehicle (which wastes gas) by closing windows, storing stuff inside the car instead of on top, and removing all unnecessary weight from the interior compartments and trunk.
-Keep up with car maintenance, including keeping tires inflated.
How high is gas in your city?
Image via sharonmleon/Flickr