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Growing Global Crude Supply Outpaces Demand, Driving December Pump Prices to Cheapest of the Year

WASHINGTON (December 7, 2018) – At $2.44 the national gas price average has set a new record low for 2018. This is nearly a nickel less than this time last December. AAA expects the national gas price average to fluctuate through the end of the month and possibly end the year as cheap as $2.40.

Globally, crude supply is growing faster than anticipated. Contributing to the surplus is the United States’ record-breaking production levels – which hit the highest level ever recorded by the Energy Information Administration at 11.7 million b/d last month. In addition, there is more Iranian supply in the market than expected due to the U.S. granting crude sanction waivers to some of Iran’s largest importers, including India, South Korea and Japan. To help reduce the growing surplus of global crude supply, this week the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met to discuss the potential of cutting crude production by up to 1 million barrels per day. The announcement was expected yesterday, but the cartel delayed the decision until Friday to give time for non-OPEC countries, including Russia, to decide if they will join the production reduction agreement. Following the delay on Thursday, crude oil prices trended cheaper than earlier in the week because the announcement was not as firm as the market expected. AAA forecasts that as long as crude stays below the $60/bbl mark, Americans will continue to see cheaper gas prices through the end of the year.


WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2018 - U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled December's list of the Best Cars to Buy Now. To make U.S. News' monthly list, a car must meet three criteria: declining sales, strong manufacturer incentives and excellent scores in the U.S. News Best Cars rankings.

"The shift in consumer interest from cars to SUVs and crossovers means that there are some very good deals on excellent cars," says Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "Interest rates are expected to rise in 2019, so you should act now to compound your savings on a new car."

This month, U.S. News Best Cars has identified six cars and SUVs that not only offer hefty savings but are also a pleasure to own.

Dodge//SRT and Mopar Renew Commitment to National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Competitors for 2019 Season

Dodge Challenger 1320 Owners to Receive Complimentary One-year Membership in NHRA and NMCA

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 6, 2018 --

Dodge//SRT and Mopar have announced a renewed commitment to National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) competitors for the 2019 season. For the second consecutive year, the brands will offer racers in model-year 2005 and newer FCA US LLC vehicles complimentary entry in the NMCA Dodge/Mopar

HEMI® Shootout category, providing performance enthusiasts a sanctioned and secure drag strip environment to race their muscle cars.

Dodge/Mopar HEMI® Shootout category returns for second season in National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) competition

Category offers racers competing in model-year 2005 and newer FCA US LLC vehicles complimentary entry at all 2019 NMCA events

Owners of new 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 will receive complimentary one-year membership in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and NMCA in 2019

Vehicle ownership will be verified with SRT Concierge for memberships to be activated

Drag-oriented, street-legal Dodge Challenger 1320 to begin arriving in dealerships in first quarter 2019

NMCA 2019 season begins March 7-10 at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park

Vehicle owners can register online for Dodge/Mopar HEMI Shootout at

For the First Time in 18 Months the National Gas Price Average is Cheaper Than One Year Ago

On the week, motorists in 32 states are paying less to fill up compared to a year ago. As the national gas price average drops to $2.46 it sets a new low price for the year and is cheaper than a year ago by two cents. The last time the daily national gas price average was cheaper year-over-year was 18 months ago on July 6, 2017 when gas prices were $2.24 (versus $2.26 on July 6, 2016).

Not only is today’s national gas price average cheaper year-over-year, but also is 31-cents cheaper than a month ago and on the week, 24 states saw gas prices drop double digits.

“Cheap crude oil prices are driving fuel savings at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Last week crude dropped to its lowest point of the year at $50/bbl. However, this week’s Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting could cause crude oil prices to jump if the organization decides to reduce crude production.”

OPEC is expected to make an announcement on crude production at its December 6 meeting in Vienna, Austria. The scheduled OPEC meeting has not had a negative impact on pump prices so far.

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 largest yearly increases are Nevada $3.15 (+44 cents), Arizona $2.80 (+41 cents), Hawaii $3.64 (+38 cents), California $3.53 (+36 cents), Utah $2.86 (+35 cents), Wyoming $2.84 (+33 cents), Washington $3.30 (+32 cents), Oregon $3.12 (+29 cents), Idaho $2.90 (+26 cents) and Montana $2.78 (+15 cents).
The nation’s top 10largest monthly decreases are: Nebraska $2.25 (-46 cents), Iowa $2.19 (-46 cents), Michigan $2.27 (-45 cents), Kentucky $2.14 (-42 cents), Kansas $2.16 (-42 cents), Missouri $2.05 (-41 cents), Indiana $2.21 (-41 cents), Ohio $2.13 (-41 cents), Illinois $2.36 (-41 cents) and Oklahoma $2.11 (-39 cents).

Taking Multiple Medications Can Increase Crash Risk for Older Drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 28, 2018) – Nearly 50 percent of older adults report using seven or more medications while remaining active drivers, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. An evaluation of the medications people are taking found that nearly 20 percent of older drivers are using medications that generally should be avoided because they have very limited therapeutic benefit, pose excess harm, or both. Drugs like these are called potentially inappropriate medications, or PIMs1. Most of these potentially inappropriate medications, such as benzodiazepines and first-generation antihistamines, are known to cause impairing effects such as blurred vision, confusion, fatigue or incoordination, and can increase a driver’s risk for a crash by up to 300 percent2.

In 2016, more than 200,000 drivers ages 65 and older were injured in traffic crashes and more than 3,500 died. Currently, a record 42 million adults ages 65 and older are driving on America’s roads and this number is expected to increase substantially over the next decade, which would make them the largest driving population.

“There is a growing population of older drivers who use multiple medications and likely do not realize the impact these prescriptions may have on their driving,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research shows that the more medications an older driver takes, the more likely they are to use an inappropriate medication that can potentially cause driving impairment.”

What’s in a Name? Everything, According to New AAA Automotive Research

Four-in-ten Americans misjudge partially automated driving systems’ ability based on their name

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2018) – A new survey from AAA finds that 40 percent of Americans expect partially automated driving systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself, indicating a gap in consumer understanding of these technologies and reality. AAA also tested these systems and found that they are in fact not designed to take over the task of driving and can be significantly challenged by every day, real-world conditions such as poor lane markings, unusual traffic patterns and stationary vehicles. As this type of technology becomes more commonplace on the road, AAA cautions consumers not to take vehicle system names at face value and, although meant to assist in the driving task, should never be used as a replacement for driver engagement.

“With today’s exciting advances in vehicle technology, there is a greater need for naming that clearly signals to a driver what the system does,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Vague or confusing terminology may lead someone to overestimate a system’s capability, unintentionally placing the driver and others on the road at risk.”

In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA tested four vehicles equipped with systems that combine technologies such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist to help maintain lane position, forward speed and following distance in relation to a lead vehicle. Closed-course and on-road testing evaluated performance in typical driving situations where the technology generally behaved as expected. However, there were a number of instances in both environments that caused these systems to act in an unpredictable manner, requiring driver intervention to avoid a potential collision.

While driving on public roadways, AAA found test vehicles struggled when encountering scenarios that included moderate traffic, curved roadways and streets with busy intersections. Researchers noted many instances where the test vehicle experienced issues like lane departures, hugging lane markers, “ping-ponging” within the lane, inadequate braking, unexpected speed changes and inappropriate following distances. AAA’s study also revealed that nearly 90 percent of events requiring driver intervention were due to the test vehicle’s inability to maintain lane position. The irregular and complex nature of the real-world driving environment revealed the vulnerabilities of this technology. AAA’s testing found the systems generally performed best on open freeways and freeways with stop and go traffic.

'Hellephant' in the Room: Mopar Stampedes into SEMA with 1,000 Horsepower 426 Crate HEMI Engine

"Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Crate HEMI® engine and kit revealed during Mopar press briefing at 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas

"Hellephant" Mopar crate engine delivers mammoth numbers: 1,000 horsepower and 950 lb.-ft. of torque

New 1,000 horsepower crate Engine Kit is another Mopar first-ever feature

Logo nods to legendary Mopar 426 HEMI engine, nicknamed "elephant" engine for its power and size

"Hellephant" Crate HEMI Engine Kit allows for relatively simple plug-and-play performance

1968 Dodge "Super Charger" Concept unveiled at SEMA features 1,000 horsepower "Hellephant" engine and kit under the hood

Dodge "Super Charger" Concept elevates one of most iconic FCA vehicles with custom modern touches and Mopar products

"Hellephant" 426 Supercharged Mopar Crate HEMI engine and kit available first quarter of 2019

All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Breaks the Mold for the Segment It Created

PLANO, Texas, Nov. 20, 2018 -- The original Toyota RAV4 arrived in the United States 22 years ago, casting the mold for a whole new industry segment, which evolved into the compact crossover SUV.

With the all-new, fifth-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4, the vehicle premieres, yet again, at the forefront – both for the Toyota brand and for the segment. Dealership arrivals can't come soon enough, with 2019 RAV4 gas models set to arrive in December, and RAV4 Hybrid models following in late March 2019.

The first RAV4 was a true game-changer, but no one knew at the time just how big of a market shift it would create. RAV4 is the currently the best-selling vehicle in its class, doubling volume over the last five years to sales of nearly 408,000 in the U.S. in 2017. That makes RAV4 Toyota's best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and the best-selling non-pickup truck in the country.

New RAV4 powertrains increase performance while reducing fuel consumption. Second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) comes standard.

Beneath the 2019 RAV4's bolder sheet metal, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides the robust foundation for capability, comfort and safety. The longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. Shorter front and rear overhangs aid the RAV4's trail driving capability.

The Zebra investigates potential massive threat to consumer privacy: how big data is revolutionizing the insurance industry and what that might cost consumers in real dollars

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 13, 2018 -- The Zebra, the nation's leading car insurance search engine, today released findings of an investigative report that explores whether the U.S. auto insurance industry — which serves 250 million U.S. drivers — is collecting and using data about consumers' online behaviors and preferences (their "digital footprints") to calculate what people pay for their car insurance policies.

The Zebra's report explores how 35 "digital footprint" preferences or behaviors could serve as risk indicators, and how those factors could affect someone's auto insurance premium in real dollars. For example:

Android owners could pay $32 more while iPhone owners might pay $70 extra each year.

Gmail users might pay an additional $100 while AOL users save the same amount.

People online at 9:00 a.m. might see savings of $17, while those online at 3:00 a.m. could pay an additional $58 in premium.

Insurance companies have the technical ability to track online activity — whether by interacting with consumers online, via in-car devices that monitor driving, or by purchasing data. In fact, insurers are already tracking consumers' online activity for purposes other than setting rates, such as fraud detection, claims processing, and marketing.

More Than 54 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving, the Most Since 2005

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 8, 2018) – AAA projects 54.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 4.8 percent increase over last year. The 2018 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume in more than a dozen years (since 2005), with 2.5 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. For the 48.5 million Americans planning a Thanksgiving road trip, INRIX, a global mobility analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be as much as four times longer than a normal trip.

“Consumers have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: higher wages, more disposable income and rising levels of household wealth,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA Travel senior vice president. “This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry.”

The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as Wednesday, November 21 to Sunday, November 25.

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