Drivers got another break at the pump as prices dropped below $3.50 per gallon in the last week.
In Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Ahwatukee Foothills and Queen Creek, the average pump price Thursday was $3.48 per gallon, 7.1 cents below the previous week, according to AAA Arizona.
Statewide, pump prices dropped to a 10-week low. This week, the statewide average shed 6.4 cents to $3.495 per gallon. Nationally, prices remained unchanged at $3.512 per gallon.
“Not long ago, Arizonans were shocked to pay more than $3 per gallon for gasoline. After remaining above $3 per gallon for more than two years, this price point has become the norm at stations across the country,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Drivers have resigned themselves to paying higher gas prices and are cutting back on driving, shopping and dining out to save money. Fortunately, AAA expects the current seven-week price slide to continue into May, barring unforeseen circumstances.”
Earlier this week, AAA released the results of a consumer index study designed to gauge public attitudes regarding gas prices. The results demonstrate how attitudes change as prices rise above significant milestones:
* 46 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3 per gallon;
* 61 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $3.50 per gallon; and
* 90 percent believe gas is too high when the price reaches $4 per gallon.
The study also found that two-thirds of U.S. adults have altered their lifestyle as a result of fuel prices. The most common changes include: driving less (86 percent), reducing shopping or dining out (71 percent), driving a more fuel-efficient car (54 percent) and delaying major purchases (53 percent).
Tucson and Flagstaff hold the low and high state fuel averages at $3.268 and $3.722 per gallon, respectively. South Carolina and California hold the lowest and highest average prices for the lower 48 states at $3.248 and $3.919 per gallon, respectively.