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People Driving Less Because Of Rising Gas Prices

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DENVER (CBS4) - A survey found that in the first week of April Americans used nearly 4 percent less gas than the same time last year. In Colorado gas shot up nearly 10 cents in the past week.

AAA Colorado says the statewide average is now $3.56 a gallon. That’s compared to $2.73 this time last year. Prices are now high enough that Americans are starting to drive less.

Alfredo Perez from Fort Collins says he’s unemployed with two children at home. With gas over $3.50 a gallon, he never has enough to actually fill the tank.

“It’s just $5 a day, $5 a day; small little trips here and there, not too far,” Perez said. “If we have to go far you better have $25 for the trip.”

Perez is like many Americans — driving less to save money. For the past 5 weeks straight, Americans bought less gas than they did a year ago.

“I try to drive less and I hope that it makes me drive slower,” Robyn Colbert from Fort Collins said.

“As long as we continue to have unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, we’re going to see some price volatility,” Wave Dreher with AAA Colorado said.

Dreher thinks prices may peak by Memorial Day, and as far as $4 gas, she says she hopes it doesn’t get that high.

“I hope not; it would not shock me to see it hit $4 a gallon sometime this summer,” Dreher said.

With more of his paycheck from fixing and installing sprinklers going to gas, Jesse Ramos is driving less and eating cheaper.

“You’ve got to cut down on your groceries. You’ve got to cut down where you used to go get a 12 pack of soda, you get ice water now, it’s cheaper,” Ramos said.

AAA Colorado says there are a few important and easy steps you can take to improve mileage. Drive smoothly — avoid sudden starts and stops. Keep tires inflated to the recommended pressure. Keep the air filter clean. Take ski racks and other accessories off the top of the car. Remove heavy items not needed in the back of the car.

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