Do rising gas prices impact your summer travel plans? - WNEM TV 5

Do rising gas prices impact your summer travel plans?

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As travel season is just about the start, a new AAA survey shows nearly a quarter of drivers believe the price at the pump is already too high.

AAA projects the national average for a gallon of gas to increase 40 cents this summer, peaking near $2.70. The current average gas price in Michigan is about $2.27.

“Higher gas prices are already influencing the travel industry,” said Susan Hiltz, AAA Michigan public affairs director. “The good news is people are still planning to hit the road. With nearly 80 percent of family travelers planning a road trip this year, higher gas prices are making shorter trips to Michigan attractions one of the most desired travel destinations.”

Americans across the country will start to see gas prices begin the climb as the industry wraps up spring maintenance and completes the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, according to AAA.

The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel. RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates.

Winter-blend fuel has a higher RVP because the fuel must be able to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. If the RVP is too low on a frigid day, the vehicle will be hard to start and once started, will run rough.

The switch between the two fuels happens twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

To offset the increase in gas prices, AAA lists the top five changes drivers can make:

  • Combining errands or trips
  • Driving less
  • Reducing shopping or dining out
  • Delaying major purchases
  • Carpooling

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