Latest News From Bumper to Bumper Radio

The Heat is On: Memorial Day Forecast Points to Sizzlin’ Summer Travel

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 17, 2022) – The unofficial start to summer will be a busy one this year as AAA predicts 39.2 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend. This is an increase of 8.3% over 2021, bringing travel volumes almost in line with those in 2017. Air travel continues to rebound, up 25% over last year, the second-largest increase since 2010. With volumes closing in on pre-pandemic levels, AAA urges travelers to book now and remember flexibility is key this Memorial Day weekend.

“Memorial Day is always a good predictor of what’s to come for summer travel,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Based on our projections, summer travel isn’t just heating up, it will be on fire. People are overdue for a vacation and they are looking to catch up on some much-needed R&R in the coming months.”

Highway Death Toll Messages Cause More Crashes

Displaying the highway death toll on message boards is a common awareness campaign, but new research from the University of Toronto and University of Minnesota shows this tactic actually leads to more crashes.

A new study in Science by University of Toronto Assistant Professor Jonathan D. Hall and U of M Carlson School of Management Assistant Professor Joshua Madsen evaluated the effect of displaying crash death totals on highway message boards (e.g., "1669 deaths this year on Texas roads"). Versions of highway fatality messages have been displayed in at least 27 US states.

Their study focuses on Texas, where officials chose to display these messages only one week each month. The researchers compared crash data from before the campaign (Jan. 2010 -- July 2012) to after it started (Aug. 2012 -- Dec. 2017) as well as examined the weekly differences within each month during the campaign. They found:

Expensive Milestone: Nearly Every State Above $4 per Gallon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2022) — With the national average cost for regular gas steadily climbing, three states—Georgia, Kansas, and Oklahoma—are still holdouts for crossing the $4 per gallon mark. The national average for a gallon of gasoline is now $4.48. The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which is hovering near $110 a barrel.

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.6 million bbl to 225 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.86 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d. Typically, lower demand would put downward pressure on pump prices. However, crude prices remain volatile, and as they surge, pump prices follow suit. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices stay above $105 per barrel.

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“Our small but mighty TGK Arizona team at the JDRF #onewalkaz this past Saturday! It was awesome seeing our community get together to support a great cause. We're proud to be a part of the effort to end childhood diabetes.”


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Pump Prices Edge Higher on Oil Market Volatility

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2022) — The recent dip in pump prices has reversed, with the national average for a gallon of regular gas rising four cents over the past week to $4.12. Upward pricing pressure on concerns that less Russian oil will enter the global market is countered by fears of a COVID-induced economic slowdown in China, the world’s leading oil consumer. These opposing forces are causing the oil price to hover around $100 a barrel.

“As long as the price of oil stays elevated, the price at the pump will struggle to fall,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “Consumers may be catching a little break from March’s record-high prices, but don’t expect any dramatic drops.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by nearly 1 million bbl to 232.3 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand increased slightly from 8.73 million b/d to 8.86 million b/d. Although supply and demand factors would have typically supported elevated pump prices, the fluctuating oil price continues to be the main factor influencing prices at the pump.

Bumper Audio Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper helps a listener with two of her high mileage Toyota vehicles.