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Drivers will road trip if gas prices stay low, according to AAA

We may be in spring but drivers are looking ahead to summer. They are considering road trips, according to AAA.

AAA says the latest survey on gas prices found that 1 in 3 Americans would plan another summer road trip if prices stay low, while 27 percent would increase the distance of one. AAA is predicting the national average will be $2.75/gallon this spring.

“Cheaper crude oil prices have helped to keep pump prices lower this winter,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. “While we are seeing the national gas price average increase and mirror prices from this time last year, spring pump prices for the majority of motorists are not expected to elevate to the nearly $3/gal level of last May.”

AAA says here in New York State, the average is already at $2.72, compared to $2.75 last year. According to AAA, Central New York is likely to see prices rise at least another 10 cents. The AAA survey shows that Americans said lower gas prices would encourage them to spend or save more, but this varies based on generation:

– Millennials (53%) and Gen X (49%) would put aside money for savings as compared to Baby Boomers (44%).

– Generation X is more likely to increase shopping/dining out, drive more on a weekly basis or use more expensive gas as compared to compared to Baby Boomers.

– Drivers in the South (11%) and West (10%) say they would use more expensive gas while five percent of those in the Mid-West (5%) and seven percent in the Northeast (7%) would be willing to upgrade fuel type.

According to AAA gas prices since the middle of March have been mostly similar to prices at this time last year. Today’s national gas price average is four-cents more expensive than a year ago.

“Historically, early spring triggers an increase in pump prices due to an increase in demand as Americans put the winter blues behind them and drive more. Another factor pumping up the price is the switchover to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive for refiners to produce,” said Carey.
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