Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – The everyday routine of getting gas is turning into everyday anxiety.

We all watch those numbers tick up and up and up as we wonder where our last paycheck went.

According to AAA, the shortest answer to why there’s so much pain at the pump is that we live in an interconnected world.

Any kind of worldwide tension can ripple over to our shores—especially with the Ukraine crisis nowhere near a resolution.

When the tide goes up over there, you know the boats rise over here.

Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs, AAA East Central

With Russia one of the world’s leading oil exporters, they could hold it back as the situation ratchets up.

That would mean crude oil supplies would be squeezed even more than they already are—leading directly to more money out of your wallet.

We’re keeping an eye on it because it is an area of concern given that crude oil is 50 to 60 cents of every dollar you spend at the pump.

Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs, AAA East Central

Add in the fact that the higher summer prices are on the way, and it starts to sound like the deck is stacked against drivers.

But Garrity says there are sound methods for getting the most out of your tank.

Make sure your tires are inflated—he compares driving around with low pressure to walking around in a pair of painful shoes.

You can go to the shop when your check engine light comes on.

And this is a tough one for many of us—but try not to speed.

There is no advantage to speeding, especially when it comes to gasoline. Every five miles an hour you’re going over 50, you’re burning fuel less efficiently.

Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs, AAA East Central

It’s even a good idea to make your errands efficient.

Try to do them all in one day and stay in one area—and don’t take a gas-guzzling car.

What we’re trying to impart on everybody right now is that you need to be making whatever changes you can to your driving behaviors, and making sure that you have room in your budget in case prices continue to go up.

Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs, AAA East Central

It’s a worrying thought, considering prices are already hitting record highs in certain spots around the country.

Just cross your fingers that after the international tension, the COVID disruptions and summer, the prices will drop… and we can finally feel comfortable latching the handle and letting go.