No freedom from high gas prices for Independence Day weekend


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CINCINNATI— More than 2 million Ohioans will travel this Independence Day (July 1-5), as travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.

While state and local gas prices have dropped slightly ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend, Ohio drivers should not expect this to last.

“Ohio saw more fluctuation early this month with a spike in gas prices,” says Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. Even though gas prices are balancing out, this will be short-lived as drivers can expect increases this week and following the holiday.”

At $2.98, Cincinnati drivers are paying an average of six cents less on the week, but 76-cent more compared to this time last year. Overall, the average price of gas across Ohio has dropped four cents on the week to $2.96 per gallon.

The Great American Road Trip continues to be the preferred method of transportation with 1.9 million Ohioans projected to drive to their destinations, the highest on record for this holiday and 1.3% more than the previous record set in 2019.

Highest of year

At $3.09, the national gas price average is at its highest of the year and not stopping. That average will increase, possibly as much as another nickel, in the lead up to the Independence Day holiday weekend as AAA forecasts a record-breaking 43.6 million Americans will hit the road for a holiday getaway.

While it is typical to see gas prices increase ahead of a holiday, especially during the peak summer driving season, pump price increases as of late have been noticeable.

“Today, 89% of U.S. gas stations are selling regular unleaded for $2.75 or more. That is a stark increase over last July 4 when only a quarter of stations were selling gas for more than $2.25,” continued Moore. “Road trippers will pay the most to fill up for the holiday since 2014.”

Crude oil, and in turn gas prices, are more expensive compared to years past mostly due to three major factors: confidence in worldwide vaccination rollout, global oil demand spikes, and the easing of travel restrictions leading to optimism for leisure travel.

Last week, crude oil sold at $74/bbl, the highest price in nearly three years. Motorists can expect little relief at the pump following the holiday. With crude oil prices likely to continue climbing, gas prices are most likely to see increases through the end of summer.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. For more information on joining or renewing a membership, visit www.AAA.com.

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