If you’re planning to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, you won’t be alone — and gas won’t be cheap.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is forecasting that 41.5 million Americans will travel during Memorial Day weekend, the highest number in more than a decade. Despite facing the highest gas prices since 2014, the company expects 36.6 million of those holiday travelers to travel by car.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gas currently stands at $2.927, with the highest gas prices in western states and the lowest in the south. The national average price of gas has risen by nearly 60 cents over the past year, and five cents since just a week ago. Gas prices are nowhere near touching the 2008 peak of $4.114, but are still costing American motorists millions more per day to drive than it did a year ago.
Gas prices tend to inch up each spring around Memorial Day as more drivers start to hit the road for summer vacations, driving up demand. But President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal seems to have had an immediate — if not lasting — effect on gas prices, pushing them higher.
These high Memorial Day weekend gas prices haven’t deterred Americans who want to get away during the unofficial kick-off of summer. Bill Sutherland, the senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, attributed travelers’ perseverance to a good economy and increasing consumer confidence.
Despite the jaw-dropping gas prices, there’s something the millions of drivers won’t be surprised by this holiday weekend: ranked the most congested country in the world, Americans are all too used to traffic.