A recent report by AAA Chicago showed that gas prices have dropped significantly in October.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, there was a sharp decrease in gas prices throughout Illinois, with the average regular unleaded gas prices falling $.32 in October, accounting for an average cost of $3.75 for the month. The latest prices accounts for an increase of $.26 on a year-over-year comparison.

"Gas prices at the end of October were dropping at the fastest speeds in nearly four years," said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. "If this trend continues, motorists could be paying less than last year to fill up their cars."

The report also indicated that gas prices in Indiana dropped. The average price throughout October was $3.58, accounting for a $.40 decrease on a month-over-month comparison and an increase of $.24 on a year-over-year comparison.

Hurricane Sandy, which swept the east coast and left approximately 93 dead and millions without power, left many Americans wary of the impact the super storm would have on gas prices. The AAA report looked to smooth over some anxiety that Americans were having, reporting that if there is a smooth start to production following Sandy, prices for gas will continue to decline throughout the rest of the year, particularly in Illinois and Indiana.

The Northeast United States is a large gasoline consumer, not a producer, so therefore the decrease in demand from individuals affected by Sandy are expected to outweigh any gasoline production in the area.

Mazda North American Operations recently announced that they are donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts for those affected by Sandy. The company is also contributing $5,000 each to the Flemington Area Food Pantry and The Food Bank Network of Somerset County to provide food for communities affected by the storm.

"Hurricane Sandy has had a devastating impact on many people in the Northeast, including our own employees, dealers and customers, so we're pleased to work with the American Red Cross and local food banks to help those who have been affected by the disaster," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations.

Mazda also announced that customers who were affected by Sandy will have any late fees waived on Mazda Capital Services loans and leases. Auto owners are reminded to document all damages to their vehicles before heading to an auto body shop to restore performance to their cars.