Highest Gas Prices are Lowest in 11 years

Yes, gas prices are both lowest and highest. When compared to past Memorial Day weekends, it's the lowest since 2005, and by no coincidence the highest amount of travelers will take to the roads since the same year. Guess what that is doing to VMT?

2 minute read

May 30, 2016, 9:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

"Gas prices are at their highest point for the year as we approach the Memorial Day holiday, and the national average has increased for 12 days in a row," according to AAA on May 23.

Today’s average of $2.28 per gallon is up six cents per gallon on the week and 15 cents per gallon on the month. Despite this increase, drivers remain on target to pay the lowest prices for the Memorial Day holiday since 2005. 

Prices rose another four cents through Sunday, the day before Memorial Day. See today's national average price here.

Planetizen noted that last year "that gas prices for this holiday weekend were the lowest in six years—since 2009."

Motorists are taking advantage of the low gas prices, as well as being deterred by unusually long lines at security check-ins at airports throughout the country.

 AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, which is an increase of 700,000 compared to a year ago. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year.

What this increase means for vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

Last year we pegged the AAA Memorial Day holiday travel projection with a May 20, 2015 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) press release indicating that "Americans drove 261.7 billion vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) in March of this year, which is the most ever driven in March."

According to the May 27, 2016 FHWA press release, March VMT increased to 273.4 billion miles, an increase of 11.7 billion miles or 4.5 percent; once again, shattering all records. Both press releases show a corresponding increase when comparing seasonally-adjusted vehicle miles traveled.

All data can be found in FHWA's Traffic Volume Trends, "a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data reported by the States."

Whatever happened to the good old days of "peak car"?

Hat tip to AASHTO Journal Weekly Newsmagazine

Saturday, May 28, 2016 in Daily Fuel Gauge Report (AAA)

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