Experts predict the lowest prices for gasoline will come this month, with a national average of $2.99 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas—welcome relief after last year’s record-high national average of $5 a gallon.
Overall, the national average for 2023 is expected to be about $3.49 a gallon, down from the average of $3.96 in 2022. However, drivers should expect gas prices to jump in June and climb throughout the summer travel season—likely over $4 a gallon by August.
Even with better gas prices ahead, drivers can get better fuel economy from their car by following just a few simple rules:
- Ditch extra cargo. According to the U.S Department of Energy, aerodynamic drag can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent on the highway. Cargo containers and roof racks increase the vehicle’s wind resistance, which means your engine must work harder to maintain its speed. If you need the storage, consider using rear-mounted boxes or racks, which affect fuel economy less. Also, extra weight in the car strains the engine and consumes extra gas. Don't haul around heavy loads if you don't have to.
- Don’t be a lead foot. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your gas mileage typically decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph, costing you an estimated $0.23 extra per gallon for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph. By obeying posted speed limit signs, you’ll save gas and avoid the risk of an expensive speeding ticket.
- Keep a cool head. In addition to quick acceleration, braking suddenly also wastes fuel. Aggressive driving (i.e., speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) isn’t just a quick way to get a traffic citation, it also wastes a lot of gas. Take a few deep breaths before you go for a drive; and don’t let other people’s poor driving result in your own.
- Keep tires inflated to ideal pressure. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, keeping your tires at the recommended pressure can improve your gas mileage by up to 3%. If your tires aren't inflated to the proper tire pressure, the more rolling resistance there is between the road and the rubber, making your engine work harder to move your car. Underinflated tires are also a safety issue. They can lead to longer stopping distances, poor handling, and dangerous tire blowouts.
- Rotate your tires. Rotating your tires is another way to keep money in your wallet because it will help spread tread evenly among all four wheels. This helps your tires last longer and, more importantly, ensures better car safety.
- Combine short trips. Warm engines run more efficiently than cold ones. Planning your errands so you travel in a sequence instead of making multiple trips is an efficient way to save time as well as gas.
- Avoid excessive idling. Idling uses a surprising amount of fuel—more than restarting the engine! If you need to wait in your parked vehicle for more than a minute or two, switch off the engine and only start up again when you're ready to continue driving. In extreme weather, it's nice getting into a comfortable car but be conscious of how long the vehicle is idling so fuel isn't wasted.
A penny saved is a penny earned! Follow these simple tips to save a bit more at the pump this year and beyond.
Get useful information and more safety tips.
Like our law firm on Facebook