PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nearly 35 million Americans are hitting the road this weekend for a Memorial Day getaway.

Friday and Monday are by far the busiest travel times, but AAA Executive Vice President Jim Lehman says you can do yourself a lot of favors if you travel in off-peak hours and not just on the ground.

“Air travel is going to be up about 11 percent this year over last,” he said. “A lot of that has to do we believe with the change in gasoline prices,” he said.

Clearly, gasoline prices are a backdrop on this holiday and the summer to come.

“In general, they are up over a dollar a gallon from the same time last year,” Lehman said.

Still, most drivers are keeping their plans.

“Our survey says six out of 10 people say it won’t impact their decision about what they do, but of the four of ten that are impacted,” Lehman noted.

Tim Dietz, owner of Troubleshooters on Babcock Boulevard in Ross Township, says there are simple things you can do to improve your gas mileage.

Start by cleaning out your car.

“If you open your trunk up, you’ve got a tool box in there and a jack and a couple bags of sand,” he said. “Empty it out because you’re hauling weight. Make the car as light as you can.”

Also, look inside the door of your car. Find your recommended tire pressure and add 10 percent. So if it’s 30 pounds, put in 33 pounds.

You’ll get better gas mileage.

You might want to drive during nighttime hours.

“Because those present some opportunities when it’s not quite as busy, not quite as much traffic and traffic flows a little freer, you save a little bit on gas,” Lehman suggested.

Drive a consistent speed and instead of 55 mph, 65 mph can save you as much as 21 percent on fuel.

“The faster you drive, the more fuel you’re going to burn between point A to point B,” he said.

Memorial Day On CBS Pittsburgh
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