Infographic: Memorial Day — The $1.4 Billion Weekend

Published May 23, 2013

This Memorial Day weekend, US travelers will spend an estimated $1.44 billion on gas. Improving fuel efficiency means Americans will spend a lot less on gas in the future.

Why are Americans spending so much on gasoline?

A lot of Americans drive during holiday weekends. During the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, an estimated 31.2 million Americans will travel by vehicle to their favorite summer destinations.

This means that there will be more than 12 million vehicles traveling over the holiday weekend, with each spending an average of $118.47 on gasoline.

How can we reduce this spending?

Smart government policy provides the most effective means to improve the fuel economy of our nation’s cars and trucks. In August 2012, the federal government enacted strong new standards for vehicles produced through 2025. If correctly implemented, these standards could nearly double the average new vehicle fuel economy to about 50 miles per gallon.

At gasoline prices of $3.50 per gallon, the second round of fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards (which apply to vehicles manufactured in model years 2017 to 2025) will save the average driver of a new 2025 vehicle some $8,000 over the vehicle’s lifetime. In 2030 alone, consumers will net $140 billion in savings from the two rounds of standards.

We have the technology to meet or exceed the recently finalized vehicle standards, deliver a wide range of clean transportation options that meet consumers’ needs, and position the United Sates as a global leader in transportation technology.

What can you do to maximize your vehicle's fuel economy today?

Keep your vehicle well tuned. Simple maintenance—such as regular oil changes, air-filter changes, and spark plug replacements—will lengthen the life of your vehicle as well as improve fuel economy and minimize emissions. Just follow the schedule in your owner’s manual.

Check your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated and aligned saves fuel by reducing the amount of drag your engine must overcome. Also consider purchasing a set of low rolling resistance (LRR) tires, which reduce rolling resistance by 10 percent and can improve gas mileage by one to two percent for most passenger vehicles. (They are now more common on new vehicles.)

Keep track of your fuel economy. A drop in your vehicle's fuel economy can be a sign of engine trouble. Keep track of your fuel economy by noting the odometer reading and the number of gallons purchased each time you fill up. To calculate your gas mileage, divide the number of miles traveled between fill-ups by the number of gallons purchased. Most hybrid cars and even some conventional gas vehicles have special gauges that make it even easier to keep track of your fuel economy in real-time, so you can see how your driving habits are impacting your fuel efficiency.


Learn more about the methodology and assumptions behind the infographic.

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The infographic is based on careful evaluations of the best available data and projections of fuel economy, summer road trip length, and gasoline prices.

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