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Southern California

Triple A: Drivers can be thankful, gas prices plunge before holiday

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.16, which is 24 cents lower than last week

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Thanksgiving pre-holiday traffic in Los Angeles (Screenshot/YouTube VOA)

Editors Note: The Weekend Gas Watch is being published one day early due to the holiday.

LOS ANGELES – A hefty gas price decline of more than 20 cents in the past week has now brought pump prices lower than at the start of the September-October price spike, but those driving to Thanksgiving holiday destinations will still be paying about 50 cents more per gallon than at this time last year, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $5.16, which is 24 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.61, which is 13 cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $5.21 per gallon, which is 25 cents lower than last week, 60 cents lower than last month, and 51 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $5.19, which is 26 cents lower than last week, 58 cents lower than last month, and 53 cents higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $5.20, which is 21 cents lower than last week, 59 cents lower than last month, and 55 cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $5.09, which is 25 cents lower than last week, 56 cents lower than last month, and 46 cents higher than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $5.42 average price is 19 cents lower than last week, 54 cents lower than last month, and 77 cents higher than a year ago today.

“With an all-time record number of 3.9 million Southern California Thanksgiving travelers hitting the road this week, the large price declines are very helpful for holiday getaway budgets,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “The lowest-priced gas stations in Southern California are now charging less than $4.40 a gallon. Make sure to use a tool like the free AAA Mobile app during your travels to find the cheapest gas prices close to you.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Nov. 23, averages are:

Nov 23 22

Southern California

Triple A: ‘Summer Blend’ begins affecting gas pump prices

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.52, which is nine cents higher than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – The transition from winter-blend to summer-blend fuel in Southern California has already started pushing pump prices upward as refineries begin producing and soon distributing the more expensive summer blend before the April 1 deadline to switch, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. 

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.52, which is nine cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.50, which is 12 cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.55 per gallon, which is four cents higher than last week, 11 cents higher than last month, and 12 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.58, which is four cents higher than last week, 13 cents higher than last month, and four cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.51, which is four cents higher than last week, one cent higher than last month, and nine cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.42, which is four cents higher than last week, 13 cents higher than last month and 18 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.52 average price is four cents higher than last week, two cents lower than last month, and six cents lower than a year ago today.

“Southern California’s shift to producing summer-blend gasoline, annual refinery maintenance that can affect fuel supply, increasing oil prices worldwide and increased gas demand in the spring are the reasons that prices are likely to rise in coming weeks,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “We recommend that drivers continue to conserve fuel and shop around for the lowest available gas prices using a tool like the free AAA Mobile app.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 26, averages are:

012623
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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices remain mostly stable

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.43, which is one cent higher than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices experienced very little movement in most areas of Southern California in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.43, which is one cent higher than last week.

The average national price is $3.38, which is 11 cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.51 per gallon, which is one cent higher than last week, four cents higher than last month, and 16 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.54, which is the same as last week, eight cents higher than last month, and nine cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.47, which is one cent lower than last week, seven cents lower than last month, and 14 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.38, which is two cents higher than last week, six cents higher than last month and 22 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.48 average price is one cent lower than last week, 21 cents lower than last month, and 11 cents lower than a year ago today.

“We are unfortunately heading toward the time of year when California drivers start to see rapid price increases due to refinery maintenance season and the ramp-up to producing the more expensive ‘summer blend’ of gasoline, which is required to be sold starting April 1, but usually arrives in gas stations well before that,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Hopefully there will be at least a few weeks of price stability before that happens.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 19, averages are:

011923
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Southern California

Triple A: Local gas prices reverse course, begin dropping

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.42, which is two cents lower than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube

LOS ANGELES – After two weeks of increases in most areas, Southern California gas prices began dropping again in the last week, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.42, which is two cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.27, which is also two cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.50 per gallon, which is three cents lower than last week, 12 cents lower than last month, and 17 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.54, which is two cents lower than last week, five cents lower than last month, and eight cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.48, which is five cents lower than last week, 19 cents lower than last month, and 14 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.36, which is four cents lower than last week, 13 cents lower than last month and 24 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.49 average price is three cents lower than last week, 38 cents lower than last month, and ten cents lower than a year ago today.

“The heavy rainstorms of the past week throughout California depressed gas demand, which helped to lower pump prices,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Also, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that West Coast fuel inventory has increased.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 12, averages are:

CA 011223
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Southern California

Triple A: 2023 starts off with increased gas prices

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.44, which is six cents higher than last week

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Photo Credit: Automobile Club of Southern California

LOS ANGELES – Refinery and logistics issues combined to push up Southern California gas prices for the second week in a row in most areas, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.44, which is six cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.29, which is 13 cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.53 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, 32 cents lower than last month, and 15 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.56, which is eight cents higher than last week, 26 cents lower than last month, and seven cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.53, which is three cents higher than last week, 35 cents lower than last month, and nine cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.40, which is nine cents higher than last week, 33 cents lower than last month and 21 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.52 average price is three cents lower than last week, 63 cents lower than last month, and eight cents lower than a year ago today.

“Planned and unplanned refinery issues as well as a local pipeline issue combined to push local gas prices higher, but this week Los Angeles wholesale prices have backed down as the Kinder Morgan pipeline issue appears to be resolved,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Bad weather throughout the U.S. and in California is likely to push down fuel demand. Oil prices have also dropped in response to lower domestic demand and world economic concerns.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 5, averages are:

010523 chart
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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices bottom out, head upward again

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.38, which is four cents higher than last week

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Photo by Casey Fiesler

LOS ANGELES – Continued lower inventories and refinery production levels statewide finally put a stop to hefty gas price decreases that started in October, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.38, which is four cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.16, which is six cents higher than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.46 per gallon, which is three cents higher than last week, 61 cents lower than last month, and 21 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.48, which is six cents higher than last week, 56 cents lower than last month, and 15 cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.50, which is the same as last week, 53 cents lower than last month, and 12 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.31, which is three cents higher than last week, 63 cents lower than last month and 29 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.55 average price is four cents lower than last week, 77 cents lower than last month, and six cents lower than a year ago today.

“Besides Southern California’s local supply drawdown, oil prices have also risen to nearly $80 a barrel after dropping to their lowest level of 2022 a few weeks ago, and that has impacted gas prices nationwide,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Because of all the 2022 price spikes, this year is obviously the most expensive on record for gasoline. The 2022 average annual price is likely to close out at $5.55 a gallon for Los Angeles and at $5.50 a gallon for San Diego. Last year’s average annual price, which was also a record, was $4.18 a gallon for Los Angeles and $4.15 a gallon for San Diego.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 29, averages are:

dec 29 22
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Southern California

Life threatening weather across nation snarls Christmas plans

In Los Angeles and most of Southern California there are mainly clear skies with the seven-day forecast showing moderate temperatures

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Screenshot/YouTube NBC News

LOS ANGELES – Record breaking freezing temperatures, snow and ice across the majority of the United States this Christmas Eve has impacted the holiday travel plans of thousands of Americans as airlines cancel flights and the hazardous snow and ice conditions affecting roads and highways in some places has stalled travel as the nation is caught in the grip of a once-in-a-generation storm.

Airlines again Saturday are cancelling flights contributing to the misery of travelers stranded at airports delayed by the over 5,000 flights cancelled Friday. The National Weather Service (NWS) reported plummeting temperatures were predicted to bring the coldest Christmas Eve on record to several cities from Pennsylvania to Georgia.

The battering winter storm knocked out power to 1.7 million homes and businesses across the country leaving millions more to worry about the prospect of further outages and crippled police and fire departments.

Adding to the holiday blues for millions of Americans, widespread power outages have affected this holiday time as electric company crews struggle to reestablish power in the freezing weather with electrical lines downed by high winds, ice, and snow conditions.

Along the eastern seaboard, yuletide temperature records were predicted as the deep freeze made worse by perilous wind chills continues to envelope much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation.

Reuters noted on Saturday the freezing weather already produced fatal car collisions around the country reporting at least 14 dead from weather-related accidents.

The arctic cold combined with a “cyclone bomb” of heavy snow and howling winds roaring out of the Great Lakes region on Friday and into the Upper Mississippi and Ohio valleys wreaked havoc on power systems, roadways and commercial air traffic.

Extreme winter weather was blamed for at least five deaths on Friday.

Two motorists were killed, and numerous others injured, in a 50-vehicle pileup that shut down the Ohio Turnpike in both directions during a blizzard near Toledo, forcing an evacuation of stranded motorists by bus to keep them from freezing in their cars, officials said.

Three more weather-related fatalities were confirmed in neighboring Kentucky – two from car accidents and one a homeless person who died of exposure.

Freezing rain and ice from a separate storm in the Pacific Northwest made travel treacherous there as well on Friday.

Winter weather warnings and advisories stretched from the high desert in Arizona north to the Great Lakes region into Canada. Environment Canada recorded a low of -22.8 °C (-9.04 °F) in Ontario at Red Lake Airport.

The National Weather Service said its map of existing or impending meteorological hazards “depicts one of the greatest extents of winter weather warnings and advisories ever,” impacting more than some 240 million Americans.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg tweeted Christmas Eve “Severe weather across the country led to more than 20% of flights being canceled yesterday. Impacts continue today but FAA expects that the most extreme disruptions are behind us as airline and airport operations gradually recover.” Buttigieg also cautioned Americans on the nation’s rails and roads:

NBC News:

In Los Angeles and most of Southern California there are mainly clear skies with the seven-day forecast showing moderate temperatures and partly cloudy through the weekend and rain showers next week.

Graphic via KTLA
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Southern California

Triple A, CHP, & LAPD remind drivers to “Arrive Alive this Season”

Uber & LA Metro, providers of alternative transportation options are encouraging drivers to consider using them

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Los Angeles Blade/Triple A graphic

LOS ANGELES – Of the 9.2 million Southern Californians expected to travel for the Year-End holidays, the Auto Club projects 8.1 million of them will take road trips. With the increase in traffic on the roads and more holiday gatherings and celebrations, the Auto Club, MADD, law enforcement, L.A. Metro and Uber teamed up to remind drivers to “Arrive Alive This Season. Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated.”

“We want everyone to have a memorable holiday season that is full of joy and laughter and not for a tragedy that could have easily been prevented,” said Auto Club Corporate Communications Manager Doug Shupe. “Please think safety first and foremost this holiday season and don’t do anything that could forever change your life or the lives of other people.”

According to NHTSA, 11,564 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2020. So far this year in the City of Los Angeles, 16 people have died in DUI crashes. In addition to impaired driving, distracted driving also poses a threat to everyone on the roads. NHTSA reports 3,142 died in distracted driving crashes in 2020. Over the last three years, LAPD officers have issued nearly 58,000 citations to drivers for using a cell phone when not hands-free, mostly for texting while driving. Traffic safety advocates and law enforcement remind drivers to put their phones out of reach and focus only on the road ahead. They also urge everyone who plans to celebrate the holidays with alcohol to have a designated driver, alternative transportation, or a place to stay overnight when celebrating.

“Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior. It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for a holiday party,” said MADD California State Executive Director Patricia Rillera. “There are too many resources to get you home safely. There are no excuses for impaired driving.”

Deadra Johnson, a MADD Victim Volunteer, lost her 26-year-old son, Brandon Simpson, to a DUI crash in South Los Angeles in 2017. Brandon was driving home when an impaired driver going 78 mph on a surface street, ran a red light and t-boned Brandon’s car, killing him.

“It almost tore my family apart. It didn’t affect just our family, it affected everybody he knew, all his friends and extended family as well,” said Johnson. “It’s just not the same anymore. Our whole family dynamic has changed.”

Simpson had just graduated from Los Angeles Trade–Technical College with a degree in plumbing and was about to apply for a business license to start his own plumbing business at the time of his death. Johnson says the loss of her son is particularly difficult this time of year.

“He loved the holidays, so he would always help me in the kitchen. I have no daughters and Brandon’s grandmother taught him how to make sweet potato pies and cakes, so he would always make the holiday desserts for us,” said Johnson. “Around this time of year, it is always hard because there’s no Brandon.”

Los Angeles Police and California Highway Patrol will be out in full force this holiday season to prevent impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and other reckless driving behaviors.

“The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want our community members to enjoy this season responsibly and safely,” said LAPD Transit Services Bureau Deputy Chief Donald Graham. “We need commitment from drivers that they’ll help keep the roads safe and if they don’t, we will be there.”

Drivers are also reminded to obey all traffic safety laws, including the state’s Slow Down Move Over Law. This law requires drivers to move over one lane, if it is safe to do so, or slow down when approaching an incident where tow truck providers, police, firefighters, emergency medical service crews or municipal vehicles are stopped on the side of a freeway or surface street.

“Deaths and injuries can be avoided if drivers slow down and move over when approaching emergency vehicles with lights flashing,” said CHP Lieutenant Martin Geller. “Please give roadside rescuers the space they need to safely help stranded drivers or do road repairs.” 

Meanwhile providers of alternative transportation options are encouraging drivers to consider using them.

“Drinking and driving is never a good option during the holiday season, so Metro is very proud to do its part to offer free rides on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve,” said Glendale City Councilmember and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “We want to ensure your journey around Los Angeles County is a safe one, so Go Metro and leave the driving to us.”

“The impact impaired driving has on our society is emotionally damaging, costly, and oftentimes life altering,” said Uber, Public Policy Manager John L. Finley. “As a rideshare leader, Uber is committed to doing our part to be a reliable ride within reach and help put an end to impaired driving.  We are proud to stand with MADD, the Auto Club of Southern California, and law enforcement in encouraging everyone to “Arrive Alive” this Holiday Season.”

To prevent impaired driving:

  • Remember it is never OK to drink and drive, even after only one alcoholic beverage.
  • Designate a non-drinking driver for the entire evening.
  • Use Uber, Lyft or public transportation. L.A. Metro will once again offer FREE service on all Metro-operated bus and rail lines on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
  • Make plans before parties begin to stay overnight instead of driving home.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
  • Take keys away from friends or family who are about to drink and drive and help them get home safely.

To prevent distracted driving:

  • Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation.
  • If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving.
  • If you have to call or text while on the road, pull off the road safely and stop first.
  • If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message.
  • Speak up if the driver of your vehicle is distracted.
  • Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving.
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Southern California

Triple A: Santa gives drivers lower gas prices

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.34, which is 11 cents lower than last week

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Photo Credit: Triple A Auto Club of Southern California

LOS ANGELES – Southern California gas prices continue dropping as Christmas and New Year’s Day approach, but there are signs the price drops are slowing, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.34, which is 11 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.10, which is nine cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.43 per gallon, which is 11 cents lower than last week, 82 cents lower than last month, and 24 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.42, which is nine cents lower than last week, 82 cents lower than last month, and 20 cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.50, which is 12 cents lower than last week, 70 cents lower than last month, and 11 cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.28, which is 11 cents lower than last week, 86 cents lower than last month and 32 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.59 average price is 18 cents lower than last week, 87 cents lower than last month, and four cents higher than a year ago today.

“After three historically large price spikes in 2022, Southern California drivers are finally getting some relief at the pump and at several gas stations they can pay less than $3.80 a gallon for regular unleaded,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Unfortunately, it looks like wholesale gasoline prices have bounced up as refineries have increased their maintenance activities and fuel inventories have shrunk, so it is uncertain how much longer the local price decreases will last.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 22, averages are:

Dec 22 22
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Southern California

Triple A: SoCal gas price averages are now least expensive of 2022

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.45, which is 17 cents lower than last week

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Screenshot/YouTube Fox 11 LA

LOS ANGELES – Many more drivers in Southern California can now find regular unleaded gas for less than $4 a gallon near them after price averages have dropped by double digits for seven of the past nine weeks, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.45, which is 17 cents lower than last week. The average national price is $3.19, which is 13 cents lower than a week ago and nine cents lower than the previous lowest average of 2022 reached on Jan. 4.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.54 per gallon, which is 17 cents lower than last week, 95 cents lower than last month, and 14 cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.51, which is 16 cents lower than last week, 96 cents lower than last month, and 12 cents lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.62, which is 12 cents lower than last week, 81 cents lower than last month, and one cent lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.39, which is 18 cents lower than last week, 96 cents lower than last month and 23 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.77 average price is 23 cents lower than last week, 88 cents lower than last month, and 14 cents higher than a year ago today.

“Oil Price Information Service reports that according to the California Energy Commission, the state’s refinery production of gasoline has dropped for the fourth straight week and fuel stockpiles are now lower, but so is demand,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Even with lower production, Los Angeles and San Francisco wholesale gasoline prices are now lower than New York, so there should be further pump price drops ahead as long as that trend holds.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 15, averages are:

121522 chart
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Southern California

Triple A: Year-end holiday travel will be second busiest on record

This year, holiday travel time will be extended due to Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays

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Triple A/Los Angeles Blade graphic

LOS ANGELES – Southern Californians will continue to make travel a high priority during the year-end holidays, continuing the trend seen during all of 2022’s major holiday periods, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The Auto Club is projecting that the year-end holidays will be the second busiest on record for the state and the third busiest ever nationally.

This year, travel time will be extended due to Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays. With hybrid work schedules, Auto Club travel advisers are seeing more people take long weekends to travel because they can return to work remotely at their destination and be more flexible with the days they depart and return.

By the numbers: 2022 Year-End Holiday Travel Forecast 

Year End 2022 Holiday Chart

“Consumers are embracing the fact that most domestic and international travel restrictions have been lifted, and they are continuing this year’s trend of making up for lost time with family and friends during the holidays,” said Heather Felix, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “They are also busy booking trips for 2023 and beyond. Cruise lines just experienced their most successful Black Friday sales ever and ship availability is shrinking daily for the most popular travel packages, so our advice to travelers is to act now to make sure they lock in their trips for next year.”

Top Destinations

According to a survey of Auto Club travel advisors, the top five destinations for Southern Californians during the 11-day travel period from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 are:

1) Las Vegas

2) San Diego

3) Mexico (cruises and resorts)

4) Grand Canyon/Sedona

5) Central Coast (Santa Barbara to Monterey)

Gas Prices

Drivers will be getting a break at the pump this holiday, although gas prices will still likely be the second most expensive on record for this time of year. With prices rapidly declining in recent weeks, those taking a holiday road trip should use a tool such as the free AAA Mobile app to find the cheapest gas stations near them.

Travel Tips

For those taking a flight to their holiday destination, the Auto Club recommends:

  • Consider travel insurance. With the huge volume of holiday flights, cancellations or extended delays could be more likely, especially in bad weather.
  • Download your airline’s app and enable alerts to stay up to date on delays and cancellations.
  • Visit TSA.Gov to make sure you comply with carry-on and checked baggage rules. Remember, wrapped gifts in carry-on and checked luggage are subject to inspection, so the wrapping may have to be removed.
  • Make reservations for your airport long-term parking to ensure you get a spot.
  • Arrive two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.

Those planning to use a rental car should:

  • Book as early as possible to ensure availability and consider non-airport rental offices, which are usually less expensive and sometimes offer transportation from the airport to their location.
  • Share flight information with the rental company to protect the reservation if the flight is delayed.
  • Make sure to inspect the vehicle before driving it off the lot to note any damage and familiarize yourself with the controls and features.

Across California, AAA expects to come to the roadside rescue of 256,000 motorists over the year-end holiday travel period, usually because of dead batteries, flat tires and people getting locked out of vehicles. To avoid breaking down, make sure to inspect your vehicle ahead of your trip or have it checked at one of the Auto Club’s AAA-Approved Auto Repair facilities.

Traffic Bottlenecks Expected This Holiday

According to the transportation analytics firm INRIX, which partners with AAA to provide traffic information on major holidays, most of the heaviest holiday travel traffic will occur between Christmas and New Year’s Day this year. The 11-day holiday spreads out traffic patterns, but in general drivers should try to avoid leaving or returning in the late afternoon and early evening. The top congestion bottlenecks and times for Los Angeles area freeways are expected between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the following dates:

INRIX LA Travel Times
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