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Gas prices continue to soar and reach record highs

According to AAA Texas, while Texas is still below the national average, the average cost of gas in the state is the highest its ever been at $4.29.

HOUSTON — Around town, drivers are seeing the numbers climb higher and higher at the pump.

“The gas prices are really hurting my pocket right now," says Dominic Ballair.

According to AAA Texas, while Texas is still below the national average ($4.59 as of May 20), the average cost of gas in the state is the highest its ever been at $4.29.

“When we compare it where we were last year, more than $1.60 higher…” says Joshua Zuber who's the Spokesperson for AAA Texas. He says a number of factors continue to impact the rising prices.

“Of course the war in Ukraine, a lot of countries banning or planning to ban Russian oil so you've got a tight supply of oil," says Zuber. "Add to that increasing demand as we continue to see recovery from COVID-19, a lot of activities getting back to normal," he continued.

RELATED: Why gas prices continue to break records

With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, it’s making some drivers like Patricia Franklin think twice about traveling.

“Too expensive, I’m just gonna chill out at the house," Franklin says.

AAA anticipates that over three million Texans will travel for Memorial Day and rather than cancel plans, they expect travelers to modify them.

“Whether that means dining out at maybe less expensive restaurants or maybe not dining out as often. They may modify their accommodations, maybe staying at a less expensive hotel or building their trip around staying with family or friends," says Zuber.

RELATED: You're not just seeing things: Texas gas prices really are higher than ever - again

If you’re looking to save some money, AAA has a few recommendations:

  • Finding the cheapest fuel along your route using their “TripTik” website
  • B.E.T. – Check your Battery, Engine, and Tires
  • Drive the speed limit and use {using} cruise control when conditions allow

“You want to make sure that when you get to the gas pump you’ve shopped around," Zuber says.

“I really have to use a credit card to pay for gas right now," says Ballair.

The rising cost, for the foreseeable future, is likely something we’ll have to buckle up for.

“More than likely we are going to see these elevated prices over the next few weeks," Zuber says.

Here are some more helpful tips from AAA:

AAA cautions drivers that allowing their cars to run out of fuel can not only put them in a potentially dangerous situation, but also could result in costly repairs.

Potential Costly Repairs from Running on Empty

Most modern cars have their fuel pump mounted inside the fuel tank. These pumps require a constant flow of fuel to lubricate and cool them during operation. Running a vehicle extremely low on fuel may allow air to be drawn into the pump, which can cause overheating and increased wear that eventually leads to pump failure. The cost to replace a fuel pump can be $500 or more in parts and labor.

Dangers of Running out of Gas

Running out of gas can put the personal safety of a driver and their passengers in jeopardy if the vehicle stops on the roadway. Power steering and brakes can be lost if an engine dies, and drivers may end up stranded in the middle of a busy highway. Fortunately, most out-of-gas situations can be avoided just simply by keeping an eye on the fuel gauge.

Finding the Lowest Gas Price Before Hitting Empty

AAA recommends drivers always maintain at least a quarter-tank of fuel. For drivers looking to save money when they fill up, the Auto Club can help with several free tools. Both the AAA TripTik Travel Planner and the free AAA.com/mobile app allow drivers to plan efficient routes and locate the least expensive places to stop for gas near their location.

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