By: Ashley Neeley

Americans are driving less to conserve gas as prices continue to climb. 

Drivers say they’re heading home directly after work and strategizing their trips to save money on gasoline. According to AAA, fuel rises two cents a week and the national average is $3.42 a gallon, 16 cents more a gallon than it was a month ago. Prices haven’t been this high since Sept. 2014. Some people are making sacrifices to save their wallets.

“I’m suffocating under these prices! I put my gas-guzzling truck back in the garage, and I’m going back to the Ford Focus,” said blue-collar worker Steven Munoz.  

The oil markets drastically changed since March 2020, when COVID-19 ran rampant and began affecting the economy. In April of that year, the market plummeted and oil traded for $15 per barrel, and it even traded at negative $40, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It took over a year for consumer demand to return to normal levels. The residing issues include the wells that haven’t reopened due to labor shortages, and some oil-producers are slowing down production because they like the high consumer price of oil now. 

“Today’s gas prices are not rising because of the store down the street—they are rising because of much bigger issues happening around the world,” said Jeff Lenard from the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.