Video: Five Tips to Avoid Labor Day Travel Trouble

Amid an improving economy, motorists are hitting the highways again in droves for the three-day Labor Day weekend, with AAA forecasting the greatest number of travelers since 2008. Watch the video above for some road-trip tips from Cars.com's Kelsey Mays to help avoid making your Labor Day getaway a laborious experience.

By Matt Schmitz | August 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Gas Prices Continue to Ease for Labor Day Travelers

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Motorists who take to the roads for the Labor Day weekend should pay less for gas in most parts of the country than they did a year ago as the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas slipped to the lowest level on this date in four years. The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday that the national average for regular unleaded was $3.43 a gallon. That is 12 cents less than a year ago and the lowest for Aug. 28 since 2010, when the effects of the recession suppressed demand and the national average was $2.68. The national average for diesel fuel was $3.80 on Thursday, 9 cents less than on Aug. 28, 2013.

August Gas Prices Hit Four-Year Low

AAA predicts that nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, the most since 2008, with 30 million traveling by car. Motorists are paying less for gas today than at this time last year in all, but about half a dozen states, mainly in the Western U.S., where refinery issues have reduced the supply, AAA said in its weekly assessment of gas prices. Californians, for example, are paying 6 cents more per gallon, on average. Statewide averages are higher than a year ago by 12 cents in Washington state, 13 in Colorado, 16 in Nevada and 17 in Oregon.

By Rick Popely | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

What Are the Safest and Most Dangerous Cities for Drivers?

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Auto accidents are among the leading causes of death in the U.S. each year, so if you're looking to play the odds you might want to consider moving to the city where the fewest crashes occur: Fort Collins, Colo. According to the 10th annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report," the Centennial State's fourth-most-populous city is the safest place to be behind the wheel. Fort Collins is no stranger to the honor, which it's held for four consecutive years.

Related: Speediest and Slowest States: Where Does Yours Rank?

"Fort Collins has placed in the top 10 every year since the report's inception," Allstate said in a statement. "This year, the results indicate the average driver in Fort Collins will experience an auto collision every 14.2 years, which is 29.6 percent less likely than the national average of every 10 years."

By Matt Schmitz | August 28, 2014 | Comments (4)

Poll: What's the Worst Driving Behavior?

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About a month ago, Cars.com's editorial team riled up readers by sharing some of the behaviors exhibited by other drivers that make us want to blow a gasket. It was a therapeutic opportunity to blow off some of the steam that can build up when we're behind the wheel, and hopefully help us keep a little cooler on the road. We also invited you, the Cars.com audience, to vent your own frustrations in the comments section — and vent you did.

Related: Bad-Driving Habits That Drive Us Mad

Among those of you who heeded our call for quibbles, far and away the most venom was spat in the general direction of those who, whether playing speed-limit cop or just plain oblivious, insist on driving too slowly in the passing lane. Other popular grouses among readers were directed at drivers who can't seem to maintain a consistent speed on interstates, who speed up when someone tries to pass and who are too distracted to notice that the traffic light has turned green.

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (54)

Labor Day Weekend Could See Spike in Highway Travel

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As Labor Day celebrates the contributions of the American worker, it seems appropriate that this year's holiday will represent a milestone in the nation's slow-but-sure economic recovery. AAA is forecasting that just less than 35 million people will trek more than 50 miles from home during the Labor Day holiday counting period from Thursday through Sept. 1, mostly taking to our nation's roads.

Related: Study: American Hit the Highways Again

That's not only a 1.3 percent increase over 2013 holiday travel, but the highest Labor Day volume since 2008. But what AAA calls "modest gains" in the economy have evidently given travelers the confidence they need to stray from home for a last blast of summer fun.

"This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation," Beth Mosher, spokeswoman for AAA Chicago, said in a statement. "Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year."

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2014 | Comments (3)

Video: Turtle or Hare? See Where Your State's Roads Stand

Do you believe slow and steady wins the race, or that last to the finish line's a rotten egg? Which state you live and drive in may have some bearing on your need for speed. Watch the video above to learn from Kelsey Mays, Cars.com consumer affairs editor, which are the speediest and slowest states in the U.S. based on legal limits.

By Matt Schmitz | August 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

August Gas Prices Hit Four-Year Low

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By Rick Popely

Gas prices have dropped to their lowest level in six months, falling 3 cents the past week to a national average of $3.44 for a gallon of regular unleaded, the lowest price for the month of August since 2010, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday. The national average for regular unleaded gas is 9 cents lower than a year ago, AAA said, and the $3.81 average for diesel fuel is 7 cents lower than a year ago. Motorists in all but a handful of states are paying less at the pump today than in August 2013. Among states where prices are substantially higher are Colorado, where the statewide average of $3.67 is 13 cents higher, and Nevada and Oregon, where drivers are paying 14 cents more.

Gas Prices Level Out, but Continued Drop Expected

The price breaks at the pump could continue beyond the summer driving season. AAA noted that refineries switch to less-expensive winter gasoline blends in mid- to late-September. In addition, demand for gas falls after the Labor Day weekend, and pump prices historically decline during the fall, barring natural disasters or geopolitical events that disrupt the supply.

By Matt Schmitz | August 22, 2014 | Comments (0)

Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

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As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Study: Americans Hit the Highways Again

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Americans went through some hard times in the past few years, and while everyone may not necessarily be on easy street now, a major spike in highway travel suggests that we as a nation are at least on the road to recovery.

Related: Speediest and Slowest States: Where Does Yours Rank?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Traffic Volume Trends report for May — the most recent edition — drivers logged just a tick less than 3 trillion miles between May 2013 and May 2014. It's the highest since 2008 and gaining on 2007 pre-recession levels. Moreover, May 2014 boasted the highest mileage for any May since 2007 — and the second-highest of any May since data collection began in 1936.

"In the first five months of this year, U.S. driving stands at 1.2 trillion miles, or the largest since 2008, and more than 264 billion miles in May alone," the DOT stated in its report.

By Matt Schmitz | August 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Live in the City? These Are the Best Cars for You

City driving can be a stressful, claustrophobia-inducing experience. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says that, for downtown drivers, less is more when it comes to your car's size, while good visibility and a tight turning circle are also invaluable. Watch the video to get our picks for the best urban cars.

By Matt Schmitz | August 15, 2014 | Comments (2)

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