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Texas sets new record with $4 a gallon gas prices, AAA reports

Houston-area drivers are paying an average of $3.97 per gallon.

HOUSTON — The statewide gas price average in Texas is $4 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to AAA.

That price is 62 cents more than from this day last week and is $1.45 more per gallon compared to this day last year.

Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Texas, drivers in El Paso are paying the most on average at $4.19 per gallon while drivers in Amarillo are paying the least at $3.74 per gallon.

Houston-area drivers are paying an average of $3.97 per gallon.

RELATED: Houstonians get creative to save money on gas

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.32, which is 59 cents more when compared to this day last week and $1.51 more than the price per gallon at this same time last year.

The statewide gas price average recently jumped to a level never seen before in the Lone Star State due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Market analysts attribute the sudden spike to uncertainty in the global oil market as to how big of an impact the loss of Russian crude will have.

The cost of crude oil is around 50-60 percent of what drivers pay at the pump – and those barrels of oil reached highs not seen since 2008. Volatility in the gas and oil market is expected to continue until the oil market figures out how to balance the loss of Russian energy.

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“Gas prices are climbing at a weekly pace we’ve never seen before, breaking records that set in 2008 across the state,” said AAA Texas spokesperson Daniel Armbruster. “Prices are anticipated to keep rising due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact it’s causing on crude oil prices.”

Tips to save money on fuel

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  •  When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel. Discount Tire, for example, offers free air checks at their shops.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.

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