High gas prices hitting 4th of July travelers

Posted at 9:48 AM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 11:48:53-04

LOS ANGELES – The automotive group calls this "Terrible Tuesday."

A record number of people are headed out of town for the July 4th holiday and those traveling by car will be paying more at the pump then in previous years.

Some 40 million Americans are hitting the road for the 4th of July holiday — including Matt Chaikin. He traveled from San Francisco to Los Angeles to be with family knowing he’d be spending more at the pump.

"It factors into the budget but it’s what you have to do at this time of year if you want to see the family and you have to spend a couple of extra bucks," Chaikin said.

Gas prices are up 62 cents compared to this time last year, making this the most expensive July 4th holiday price in four years. Jeanette Casselano with AAA says crude oil prices are the main reason why.

"When we see crude prices go up we generally see gas prices go up too, especially right now, even with OPEC’s potential decision to increase their production, it may not be enough to offset the supply levels not keeping pace with demand," Casselano said.

Prices have dropped recently, but they’re expected to go up 10 cents or even more in the coming months. "There is a potential that gas prices could hit a new high later this fall," Casselano said.,

There are apps like Gas Buddy, Gas Guru, Google Maps and Waze that can help drivers find cheaper gas — and prices vary greatly depending on where you live.

People in the South are paying as low as $2.30 a gallon while drivers in California are paying much more — and prices are only expected to go higher.

AAA was reporting on Tuesday that Montanans were paying an average of $2.94 per gallon. That compares to an average of $2.34 per gallon at this time last year.

AAA says the worst time to drive in most major cities is today between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. as conditions will be about two times more congested then on a typical work day.