COLUMBIA, Mo. - While record-high fuel prices may keep more Americans home this Memorial Day weekend, AAA estimates that at least 31 million Americans will still hit the highways.

Motorists can use basic fuel-saving tips to take some of the sting out of soaring gas prices.

"You can increase fuel efficiency in several ways," said Leon Schumacher, a University of Missouri professor of agricultural systems management specializing in fuel-economy research.

First, slow down. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph, said Schumacher. Some truckers report up to a 25 percent increase in fuel economy when traveling at 60 rather than 70 mph, he said.

Don't be an aggressive driver. Erratic speeding up and slowing down greatly reduces fuel efficiency.

Make sure you have clean air and fuel filters. Dirty filters choke off air and create a rich mixture so that the engine burns too much gas for the available amount of air.

Worn spark plugs cause misfiring, which wastes fuel.

Make sure your gas cap is on tight. Gas tanks with damaged or loose caps can lose fuel to evaporation.

Inflate your tires properly. Under-inflated tires may cost drivers a mile or two per gallon of gas, Schumacher said.

"Using cruise control can be an effective fuel saver on level but not hilly terrain," he said.

On hilly terrain, a typical motorist may lose 2 percent to 3 percent of fuel efficiency using cruise control. It's a good idea to switch it on and off and allow your engine to take advantage of the terrain, he said.