According to AAA, the average price for gas nationally is $3.68 per gallon, the most for the July 4 holiday since $4.10 in 2008.
The current average price of gas in Alabama is $3.42 per gallon, compared to $3.24 a year ago. Alabama’s gas prices are among the lowest in the nation.
Last month, AAA predicted that the price of gas could decline 10 to 15 cents per gallon as refineries complete maintenance and increase gasoline production to meet the summer demand. For the past three years, gas prices declined in June by an average of 21 cents per gallon.
However, instability in Iraq disrupted the market as insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatened to capture Baghdad or disrupt the southern oil producing regions of the country.
AAA expects that the national average for gas will range from $3.60 to $3.70 per gallon in July.
In spite of the increased cost of travel, more Americans are expected to plan an Independence Day getaway, which AAA defines as journeying 50 miles or more away from home.
“With school out for summer, the Fourth of July holiday is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, with five million more Americans traveling compared to Memorial Day weekend,” said AAA Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram.
Travel volume for Independence Day has grown four out of the past five years. More than eight in 10 who take a trip this year will go by automobile, the highest level since 2007.
According to AAA, many travelers will be using credit cards to finance their vacations.
“Steady improvement in the economy has spurred increased consumer confidence and spending. Optimistic Americans are more willing to take on debt this year,” Ingram said.