Americans are traveling less and doing so in more economical vehicles, yet they are still pouring more money into the pump.
A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the average American household spent about $2,912 on gasoline in 2012. This is nearly 4 percent of the annual after-tax income for families and marks the highest amount spent on fuel in almost 30 years.
According to AutoBlog, the agency found similar numbers in 2008, when the recession was in full swing and the price of fuel skyrocketed. However, one major change has made the numbers from 2012 even more significant - cars today are more fuel efficient than ever before.
The Fiscal Times reports that U.S. gasoline consumption fell to 134.2 billion gallons in 2011. While that may seem like a lot, it's actually the lowest total since 2001, but drivers haven't cut down their miles enough to combat the increasing gas prices.
In order to cut down on the funds that go straight to fuel, drivers should be sure to get a car tune up and stick to their scheduled maintenance, as this can help avoid problems that could lead to less efficiency.