Labor Day travelers may get to enjoy some of the lowest gas prices in four years for the upcoming holiday weekend, according to recent predictions from AAA – The Auto Club Group out of Tampa, Fla.
Tennessee’s average gas price as of Tuesday was $3.21 per gallon, as opposed to $3.39 last year and $3.66 in 2012.
The national average on Tuesday was $3.43.
“Record high oil production is keeping downward pressure on gas prices,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
“The bottom fell out again on oil prices last week, which should lead to another week of discounts at the pump despite rising demand, as 29.7 million Americans plan to take a road trip for Labor Day weekend.”
Officials at AAA state that the price drop is primarily due to the shale boom, which has boosted oil production in the U.S. by 64 percent in the past five years.
In Tullahoma, prices yesterday were a full six to seven cents lower than the Tennessee average, with local stations advertising regular gas as low as $3.1 per gallon.
Customer Josh Taylor took advantage of the low prices on Tuesday at Murphy Express on North Jackson Street, filling up his Harley-Davidson while preparing for a big weekend of travel.
“We’re going to the game in Knoxville and then to Daytona Beach and then back up to Knoxville later,” Taylor said, “but we’re taking the car for all that.”
In 2009, state and national prices reached their lowest since 2004 at $2.39 and $2.58 per gallon, respectively, but by 2011 had jumped back up to $3.48 and $3.56.
To increase fuel efficiency even more, AAA has a list of fuel-efficient driving tips, which include maintaining recommended tire pressure, since low tires reduce efficiency, keeping air filters clean and, surprisingly, using air conditioning.
“Today’s air conditioners create less drag on the engine than driving with the windows open,” the FAQ’s advise, as well as driving slow, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.”
For more information, visit fuelgaugereport.aaa.com.