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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Gas Prices Spike Just in Time for Holiday Travel Season

(Eli Pacheco, Headline USAJust in time for the holidays: Fuel prices are spiking.

Gas prices rose 0.6% on Wednesday, the largest single-day spike in four months.

The American Automotive Association estimated 115 million Americans will take to the roads for holiday travel this season, adding expense to the trip.

The uptick in cost comes after a steady rise in crude oil prices since Houthi terrorists began attacking tankers in the Red Sea.

It was the second-highest AAA estimate for year-end travel since 2020, the first year it tracked holiday travel.

The report predicted a 1.8% increase in auto travel from last year (103.6 million Americans).

The highest traffic volume was expected on Saturday, Dec. 23 and Thursday, Dec. 28, according to calculations from INRIX, a transportation analysis firm.

The INRIX statement said the increase could lead to travel times 20% longer than last season.

“In major metros, especially in Denver, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., drivers could experience nearly double the typical delays,” the statement read.

INRIX suggested avoiding travel during commuting hours. Other suggestions included:

Some regions reported dropping gas prices until Wednesday when an uptick occurred. The trend had been downward, but trouble in the Red Sea from the Israeli–Hamas war made for uncertain waters on a key transportation route. 

On its website, AAA advised drivers to expect daily gas prices to “move back and forth for the next month or so.”

GasBuddy, a Boston tech company that tracks fuel prices through crowdsourcing, attributed rising costs to Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, and to news that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates in 2024.

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