27 May, 2017
More Americans are planning to hit the road this summer compared to 2016, according to the annual Summer Travel Study conducted by GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting more than 65 million drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop.
Today's national average is $2.37 per gallon - two cents more than a week ago, four cents less than a month ago, but six cents more than a year ago.
The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Nashville at $2.13, Knoxville at $2.11 and Memphis at $2.10.
The Friday before Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel days of the year and stable gasoline prices are expected to fuel a slight increase in road trips. More than 82 percent said they will take a road trip this summer, a 7-percent increase from a year ago and a 9-percent increase compared to 2015, with a majority (70 percent) planning to take at least two trips.
Regular gas prices are averaging $2.18 a gallon on the Missouri side of the metro area and $2.23 a gallon on the Kansas side, said Mike Right, AAA spokesman.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has suspended work on all road projects in the Triad and Northwest North Carolina during the holiday period to ease travel.More news: Trump administration extends protected status for Haitians
"Carolinians are eagerly awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel thanks to the positive growth seen throughout the travel industry this year", Dave Parsons, AAA Carolinas' president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Hotel costs have increased from a year ago, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $215 a night, or 18 percent more than last year. As of May 19, the four-week average US gasoline demand is 9.4 million barrels per day, about 2% lower than the level this time previous year.
However, Vitner said, the recent price rebound "has caused many to curb spending at restaurants".
Michael Walden, an economics professor at N.C. State University, said projections of limited summer driving "could be overstated if job growth accelerates, thereby providing households with more income".
According to Gas Buddy, prices at the pump are at the lowest they've been since 2005. If prices do surge, it is unlikely they would exceed 10 cents by the holiday. Last year, 20 N.C. motorists died from injuries received from vehicle accidents.