MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Nationwide, AAA is seeing an increase in drivers running out of gas — the apparent result of high gas prices.
Gail Weinholzer, spokesperson of the Minneapolis AAA, says they’ve had some reports out of their California club as well as some clubs on the east coast that people are running out of gas. She said they strongly advise against letting your car run that low.
“Not only is it an inconvenience to run out of gas, but, of course, if you’re standing by the side of the road, depending on where you are, it could be a safety issue,” she said, “and secondly, it can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle.”
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Now that the Easter weekend has come and gone, Weinholzer said the next big holiday for drivers’ to watch pump prices is Memorial Day weekend.
“Summer travel is typically the highest demand we see throughout the year with the three major holidays — Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Those will be the real test to see how it affects people’s driving,” she said.
Weinholzer said that prices have risen because of the dramatic increase in crude oil prices at the national level — $113 dollars a barrel — which is at least a $10 increase in the last month.
“Those prices are being passed down at the pump, just as they are for airlines and other commercial goods and services,” she said.
Locally, Weinholzer said, Twin Cities drivers are paying $3.90 a gallon, which is slightly above the national average of $3.86 a gallon. She said the metro area gas prices are actually slightly cheaper than the rest of greater Minnesota.
“It’s because of distribution,” she said. “It’s easier to bring a lot of fuel into the Twin Cities than it is to take smaller portions out to rural Minnesota.”