New safety campaign kicks off with a winter vehicle prep reminder before holiday travel

BOISE – (December 20, 2018) – Just in time for a record-breaking holiday travel crowd of 112 million Americans (among them 567,000 Idahoans), AAA and the Idaho Transportation Department have launched a new safety campaign – “Idaho Ready.” The campaign’s purpose is to provide safe driving tips to Idaho motorists across various social media channels, including to those who may have recently relocated to the state.

“Drivers who hail from other parts of the country may have prepared very differently for winter in the past, but this is Idaho – the old rules may no longer apply,” says Matthew Conde, public affairs director for AAA Idaho. “As the fastest-growing state in the Union, we all benefit from an occasional reminder to get ‘Idaho Ready’ for the unique driving conditions found in the Gem State.”

The first “Idaho Ready” video offers helpful advice to prepare your vehicle for when the weather turns nasty, including for upcoming holiday travel.  Additional content will be shared on AAA and ITD’s social media channels using #IdahoReady.

“We encourage drivers to view this short video before setting out to see loved ones this Christmas season,” Conde said. “It could prevent some roadside headaches later.”


Holiday travel recap

Favorable gas prices are a welcome present for holiday travelers this year, with the U.S. average dropping 23 cents and the Idaho average dropping 30 cents since Thanksgiving. The combination of abundant supply and reduced fuel demand has applied downward pressure on pump prices.  In the meantime, global crude oil prices have plummeted from $76 per barrel in early October to the current price of $47 per barrel.

The seasonal savings are likely short-lived, with OPEC officials and partners stating that they will cut crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day in the coming year. Time will tell if domestic production can ramp up enough to offset the effect.

Today’s U.S. average gas price is $2.36, which is 25 cents less than a month ago and a nickel less than a year ago. In Idaho, the average gas price is $2.69, which is 32 cents less than a month ago, but still thirteen cents more than a year ago.

“In recent years, we haven’t seen the typical price drop to end the year, so it’s great that this year’s discount will put an extra present under the tree,” Conde said.

Here’s a seven-year retrospective of gas prices leading up to Christmas Day:

Currently, only Custer County has an average price at or above $3. There are 21 Idaho counties with an average gas price of $2.75 or less.

Here’s a look at gas prices across the state: Albion, $2.96; American Falls, $2.69; Arco, $2.85; Blackfoot, $2.65; Boise, $2.61; Bonners Ferry, $2.76; Burley, $2.80; Cascade; $2.90; Challis, $2.93; Coeur d’Alene, $2.59; Dalton Gardens, $2.60; Donnelly, $2.90; Driggs, $2.80; Eden, $2.90; Emmett, $2.59; Filer, $2.65; Franklin, $2.69; Glenns Ferry, $2.74; Greenleaf, $2.67; Hagerman, $3.00; Hailey, $2.90; Hayden, $2.60; Homedale, $2.66; Horseshoe Bend, $2.66; Idaho Falls, $2.72; Island Park, $2.90; Jerome, $2.77; Kamiah, $2.43; Kellogg, $2.68; Ketchum, $3.17; Lewiston, $2.79; Marsing, $2.62; Melba, $2.90; Middleton, $2.63; Moscow, $2.95; Mountain Home, $2.66; Notus, $2.67; Orofino, $2.56; Parma, $2.66; Pocatello, $2.71; Rathdrum, $2.57; Rexburg, $2.78, Rigby, $2.73; Sandpoint, $2.78; Soda Springs, $2.76; St. Maries, $2.64; Twin Falls, $2.77; Wallace, $2.67; Weiser, $2.67; Wendell, $2.71.

AAA projects that the busiest holiday travel times will occur over the weekend, with drivers and airline passengers flocking to the highways and skyways. However, today and tomorrow could be particularly challenging on the roads, as holiday traffic mixes with the morning and afternoon work commutes in various Idaho locales to produce additional congestion.

“To reduce the stress associated with holiday travel, do a little extra planning,” Conde suggested. “Complete a quick pre-trip vehicle inspection, and look for any leaks, flat tires, or battery issues.  Pack two days before you leave – that way you’ll avoid any last-minute worry about taking everything you need, and you’ll also sleep better the night before you travel.  Finally, please be sure to share holiday cheer and courtesy as you travel, and celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in moderation – impaired driving is a serious issue that can cut a family celebration tragically short.”

Snow is in the 7-day forecast for several parts of Idaho. To prepare for when the roads freeze and the white stuff falls, drivers can turn to