Reporter: Danner Evans l Videographer: Brian Whitesell
Lynchburg, VA - The ABC 13 Pump Patrol is watching gas prices for you all month in May to let you know what to expect. We're also surprising people at the pump and helping them fill their tanks.
This week we found out that $50 can go a long way for people like Dwayne Martin and Constance Taylor.
"It just makes everything a little tighter," Martin told ABC 13 News. "Everything, doesn't matter if it is food, bills, whatever. Everything is tight."
It's tight because of prices at the pump.
"It's still pretty tough for me because I'm laid off," Taylor said while filling up. "Right now I should be buying some blood pressure medicine. But not today."
"I mean I don't really understand it," Martin said.
Luckily, Lynchburg College economics professor Joe Turek is tracking pump prices and explaining them for us. Last week Turek predicted prices would drop.
In Virginia, the average price of a gallon of regular is down 6 cents to $3.72. But in our area, prices are even better.
"What's really key is what is happening with the economy," Turek said. "We have news recently from Europe that Spain is in a recession so there are a total of 10 European nations in recession. If you have 10 economies in Europe operating at a declining rate of growth then that would suggest some softer demand."
That still means better prices when you fuel up. But Turek is watching one thing very closely this week that could lead to prices going up again.
"Right now one of the largest oil producers in Libya is having some problems with worker protests and what they've indicated is that if these are not resolved by Thursday they might shut down production," Turek explained.
At least for now there is a good forecast at the pump.
"Probably more of the same," Turek said.
Sure gas prices are falling but they are still almost $3.50 a gallon for regular unleaded in the Lynchburg area. That is why the ABC 13 Pump Patrol is here to help.
We surprised Martin with a $50 gift card from ABC 13 News and Kroger. He said it sure will help.
"Thank you! He smiled. "Oh, great!"
The $50 will also help Taylor.
"This will fill my gas up and then I guess I can go buy my blood pressure medicine," Taylor said.
One other element our Pump Patrol will be watching for in the days to come is when the reformulated summer gas hits the pumps.
Turek said when that happens it usually goes up in price -- the question right now is when it will make it into our gas tanks.
Get more gas saving tips on gasbuddy's website.