Memorial Day Travelers Met with High Gas Prices


If you're planning on traveling in the coming months, it's going to cost you. That's the highest average we've seen headed into Memorial Day weekend since 2014.

The bad news? At a national average of $2.96 a gallon as of Thursday.

The record travel estimate comes despite higher gas prices than at this time past year.

California as of Friday is the most expensive place in the country to fill up, with an average price of $3.727 a gallon, just ahead of Hawaii's $3.712, AAA data shows.

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In fact, the wide majority of people will be traveling by auto; a total of 36.6 million people, 4.7 percent more than past year.

Gas prices are marching toward the $3 mark nationwide as the summer driving season begins. The price was 59 cents a gallon higher than a year earlier, according to AAA.

In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities in crashes involving a driver with a BAC of.08 or higher, accounting for 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year, according to AAA.

GasBuddy Head Analyst Patrick DeHaan says several factors are contributing to the rise in prices, including OPEC's 2016 agreement to reduce oil production and the lack of oil being exported by Venezuela.

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A record number of Americans are traveling this weekend for the Memorial Day holiday. Those prices reportedly began to climb back up after crashing in 2015 thanks to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil cartel teaming with Russian Federation to slash production prices. Inside city limits, the average now stands at $3.39, compared with $3.29 a week ago and $2.57 at the same point in 2017.

If prices don't calm down, some drivers could decide to stay home rather than pay up at the pump. "But I don't think it will hold people back", said DeHaan. A Goldman Sachs spokesperson suggested to CNN Money on May 11 that Trump could decide to use the emergency stockpile of stored oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to compensate for a decrease in Iranian oil production.

"The Saudis are quite enjoying $80 prices", said Michael Tran, global energy strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

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