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Gas prices continue to soar throughout the Southland

March 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
California's gas prices continue to soar, skyrocketing more than 50 cents in the last month in the Los Angeles area.

The pain at the pump has a lot of people looking for ways to save, and a lot of people are changing the way they drive. When gas prices go up, some drivers slow down.

There are "hypermilers," which are drivers who accelerate very slowly. They will even get behind big trucks on the freeway to draft behind them. They do anything possible to get the absolute best mileage, which is understandable.

"The most gas you're going to use is getting your car from zero to your desired speed," said Jeremy Soule, who has been hypermiling for years.

As of Wednesday, a gallon of regular unleaded will run:

  • $3.93 in Los Angeles and Ventura

  • $3.91 in Orange County and the Inland Empire

With gas prices taking off toward record highs, many people are aggressively shopping for the best prices.

"Just take note of the prices and then plan your route according to what's near," said Philip Reed, Edmunds.com's consumer advice editor. He said that could save you 10 to 15 cents as long as you do it on your usual commute.

"Whatever you save, you're going to throw it away by driving to find cheaper gas."

Reed's other advice is to cut back on certain aggressive driving habits.

"Rapid acceleration, high cruising speed and also an aggressive use of the brakes," said Reed. "And if you're cool and calm you're going to save up to 30 percent."

A 30 percent boost in mileage is the same as getting a 30 percent discount at the pump. It's a good savings - but still high for frustrated drivers.

Other tips from Edmunds.com are to make sure you have the proper tire pressure, take the junk out of the trunk, and also take the roof rack off your car as it can add an extra 5 percent to your mileage. But don't draft behind big trucks because it is dangerous.

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