Drivers feel pain at the pump as gas prices rise


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano
THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Francisco Alonzo, 68, fills his car up at the Mobil on 164th Street in Jamaica.

Over the past month, drivers have been digging deeper into their pockets as gas prices have gone up about 20 cents per gallon.

“Owning a vehicle today is out of the question. At this rate, our children will be paying $10 or more a gallon,” said teacher Elizabeth Gutierrez, 24, as she gassed up her sedan on Monday, February 18.

With prices only going up, AAA has created a “Gas Watcher’s Guide” narrowing down tips to save gas and most importantly, money.

“To conserve, we must slow down and find ways to do more with less. The benefits of fuel conservation include financial savings, improved road safety and a healthier environment,” said a brochure.

When it comes to driving, AAA emphasizes slowing down.

As well as following safe driving methods, drivers should try to condense trips when going out to run errands.

“To me it’s not good because I’m retired and make no money, it’s ridiculous. I don’t like it, but I need the gas for my car,” said Francisco Alonzo, 68, as he filled his car up at a Mobil station 164 Street in Jamaica.

AAA also suggests drivers keep their eyes open for lower fuel prices, yet should not waste gas to save a few cents at another station farther away. Also, drivers should be aware of the correct starting procedure of their vehicles, especially during cold weather when an engine must thoroughly warm up.

Although the increase in prices has most drivers frustrated, other drivers see the increased costs as a way to control how people drive and consume.

“I feel that gas prices are both a win and lose situation. The increase in price means a decrease in our pockets; however I still look at it as a win because it means it’s moderating how much people use. Hopefully this means we start to use our fuel wisely and preserve as much as we can,” said Neilmarlon Santiago, 20.

 

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