FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Despite national gas prices being $1.74 more per average gallon than last year, and the most expensive ever for the holiday, Americans will travel by car in record numbers this July 4th weekend, AAA reports.
AAA expects 42 million Americans to travel by car, the most on record for that mode of travel during the holiday. In total, 47.9 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, just shy of 2019 levels.
The increase in volume, due largely to pent-up demand for travel, will put more pressure on the demand for fuel. This is occurring as supplies remain tight around the globe for crude oil and refined products.
While gas prices have been dropping over the last two weeks, it is possible they could reverse course and begin climbing again in July, AAA notes. The statewide gas price average in Arkansas is $4.41 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA Arkansas Weekend Gas Watch.
That price is eight cents less compared to this day last week and is $1.60 more per gallon compared than this day last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in Arkansas, drivers in West Memphis are paying the most on average at $4.48, while drivers in Jonesboro are paying the least at $4.30 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.86, which is eight cents less compared to this day last week and $1.74 more than the price per gallon at this same time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.
“Record holiday gas prices won’t stop many Americans from traveling by car this Independence Day weekend,” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “AAA forecasts that 42 million Americans will travel by automobile to their holiday destination. That will be the most on record to drive for July 4th and will put more pressure on fuel demand that could result in higher gas prices in the weeks to come.”
Drivers in Arkansas are paying the 4th lowest gas price average in the country, according to gasprices.aaa.com. Meanwhile, drivers in California are paying the most at $6.29 on average for a gallon of regular unleaded.