Updated July 19, 2021 - 8:16 pm
A shortage of truck drivers is causing fuel delivery disturbances at many Las Vegas Valley gas stations.
While it may seem like there’s a fuel shortage in Las Vegas, there is “plenty of gasoline across the country,” AAA spokesman Sergio Avila said Monday.
“At the heart of this issue isn’t a gasoline shortage,” Avila said. “There’s an issue with delivery truck drivers, where there are not enough drivers to get the gasoline to the gas stations.”
The trucking industry is short more than 50,000 drivers across the country, according to National Tank Truck Carriers, an advocacy group.
Avila said empty gas pumps are usually “isolated to one or two brands” and shortages will last about 24 to 48 hours at each station.
The driver shortage is part of a larger issue that goes back several months, Avila said. A lack of workers led to low gas levels at some Las Vegas stations a couple of months ago as well, he added.
He offered advice to local drivers, including trying to visit different gas station brands if one particular station appears to have an outage.
“Don’t wait until the last possible minute to start looking for gasoline,” he said. “Just know you might have to visit one or two gas extra stations. Leave yourself some cushion in your tank before you run out of gas.”
Despite high costs in the Las Vegas Valley, the driver shortage hasn’t led to an increase in gas prices, Avila said.
He noted recent upticks in gas prices are “mainly due to high crude oil prices that have been on the rise for a while.”
“Crude oil and demand are really what’s pushing gas prices higher,” Avila said. “And we expect them to continue to go up throughout the rest of the summer.”
The average gas price in Las Vegas is slightly above the state average, at $3.887 compared with the state average of $3.881 per gallon of regular gas. Prices have accelerated especially quickly over the past week. Since July 12, prices are up more than 10 cents per gallon.
It’s the same story across the country. According to AAA, the national average has risen to nearly $3.17 per gallon as of Monday. Prices are 10 cents higher than a month ago and about 98 cents higher than this time last year.
Since a month ago, gas prices in Nevada are up about 21 cents per gallon to $3.88 per gallon. Prices in Nevada are up about $1.24 dollars per gallon from $2.64 per gallon when the state was in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic and demand was much lower.
Nevada has the third-highest gas prices in the nation, according to AAA data. The data shows the state’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas was behind just Hawaii at $4.07 and California at $4.32.