The Economy

Mar 15, 2012 8:30 PM by Andy Koen

Spiking gas prices stun drivers

No your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. That photo really does show a 20 cent price jump at the same local gas station since Monday. In the past 30 days average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Colorado Springs has risen by $0.50.

Wave Dreher of AAA Colorado says some of increase comes from the type of gas we're now filling up with.

"As we're switching from winter blends to summer blends we usually see about a 10 to 15 cent increase in the price of gas," Dreher said.

She says pressure on the global oil market from instability in the Middle East and increased demand from China and India are also driving up the price. Dreher expects prices in Colorado to peak some time next month while national prices are expected to climb through May.

"I think we will certainly see a nationwide average very close to $4 a gallon."

Local drivers were stunned by the suddenness of the increase.

"I think it's crazy. It's too high," Si Niswonger said.

Michelle Downing didn't mince words. "I hate the, sure do," she said.

"It's too high. I'm on a fixed income," Jesse Calvillo added.

Dreher of AAA says the easiest way for us to stretch our gas dollar is to change the way we drive.

"If you're driving in a jerky manner, a lot of fast stops and fast starts, that's going to impact your fuel economy," she said.

Proper vehicle maintenance and driving slower on the highway can also improve fuel economy.

The lowest price we located using our News 5 Gas Tracker was $3.28 a gallon at the Green Crest on 3725 Van Teylingen Drive.

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