Gas prices break $5/gallon, impact some drivers’ habits

Jun 6, 2022, 8:14 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 5:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Gas prices were up again Monday, breaking five dollars a gallon at some stations across the state and impacting some drivers’ daily driving habits.

“It is not fun. I mean, gas prices are crazy. That’s where most of my cost is right now,” Amber Palmer said while filling up at a Maverik gas station in Salt Lake County.

Palmer rides her motorcycle when she can because it gets 50 miles to the gallon. But as a single mom of four children, she has plenty of places she needs to go in her van.

“You got to consider how much it will cost to get there.”

According to the American Automobile Association, the cost of a barrel of oil is nearing $120 – nearly double what it was last August. That cost, combined with tight supply and growing demand, leads to even higher gas prices.

AAA reports the average cost of regular gas is about $4.83 a gallon in Utah, up from $4.51 last month and nearly $1.50 more than a year ago.

In a press release, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said, “People are still fueling up, despite these high prices. At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet.”

“Yeah, it won’t stop us from going out. I mean, it will be a little more expensive, but it won’t stop us,” Blake Bush said as he was getting ready to head down south with his side-by-side.

He said gas prices have nearly doubled the traveling cost of the trip he takes several times a year. It might deter him from longer distances outside the state, but “within the state, I’ll still go and do what we do,” Bush said.

No matter how high the prices get, Peter White still has to use his pick-up truck to drive to work.

He said he spends around $150 on gas every three or four days. He receives a per diem for work, but the amount does not do as much as it used to offset his travel costs.

“With that increase, I’ve had to spend less elsewhere,” White said.

“It’s definitely changed, ‘okay, how much am I going to drive? Do I need to drive here?’”

White said prices have also factored into their decision to buy a car for his fiancé. They are looking more closely at fuel-efficient options.

“I don’t know how people can afford it,” said Brady Mecham.

The 20 bucks he usually puts in his tank doesn’t fill it nearly as much as when gas was below three dollars a gallon.

“Groceries are going up. Everything else is going up. So, gas is up!” he said.

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Gas prices break $5/gallon, impact some drivers’ habits