KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE) — From truck drivers to the average joe, the pinch of rising gas prices continues to be felt.
Tuesday’s AAA national average was $4.92; that’s a five-cent increase from the day before. Tennessee’s average gas prices are just about the same as the national average.
In Knoxville, it is a little lower at $4.58 according to AAA, and the rising oil cost and high demand for gas are expected to keep pump prices surging. Unfortunately, the issue of rising gas prices doesn’t seem to be going away, and neither does the need for fuel.
“It’s one of those things,” said David Loveday while he was pumping his gas. “I have to drive to get to work because it’s so far away. So, I got to pay it regardless.”
Loveday lives in Blount County and commutes to Knoxville for work.
“I fill up once a week usually which is roughly 120 bucks,” he said.
He said it use to take him $70 to fill up before the surge.
“It’s a big difference,” he added.
According to Trillium Driver Solutions Branch Manager, Lauren Ferguson, truck drivers are also feeling the pinch. The company is a staffing service that provides CDL drivers to both small businesses and large corporations.
“The gas prices even for our drivers personally, they’re looking at where our companies are that they’re being placed and saying that’s a little bit further than I’m willing to go just due to gas,” said Ferguson.
A majority of their drivers are paid hourly.
“I think the market average right now in the Knoxville, Chattanooga area we’re seeing anywhere between $18 to $20 ars an hour,” Ferguson stated.
She adds that not many of the companies they work with pay their driver’s mileage.
Loveday doesn’t drive a big rig for work, but he does drive a larger SUV.
“Definitely hard on the wallet,” he said. “As you can tell it’s a rather large vehicle. It’s a lot of gas.”
He’s prepared for prices to continue to increase and said no matter the cost, he still has to get to work or else he won’t be able to pay for gas at all,
“Whatever the price is, is whatever the price is. We still have to buy it. You know what I mean?” said Loveday.
According to AAA, the cost of a barrel of oil is nearing $120 dollars, which is nearly double from last August.