Huge global oil supplies have helped push the US average price for a gallon of gasoline down to $1.998, according to AAA. The cheap fuel is down 41 cents from a year ago, and this is the first drop below $2.00 nationwide since March 2009 during the Great Recession.
The inexpensive fuel should make filling up the family hauler for a trip to grandma’s during the holidays a lot easier on the wallet. “The lowest gas prices in nearly seven years are a holiday gift that few consumers could have imagined when gasoline was $4 a gallon,” AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney said in a statement.
Folks in some states can expect to pay well below $2.00 a gallon, according to AAA. Missouri has the lowest average at $1.77 per gallon, and it’s followed by Oklahoma and South Carolina at $1.78. A tiny number of US stations even are reporting $1.59 a gallon.
Low global oil demand and continued high production have combined to give motorists this unexpected present. According to Market Watch, futures for the benchmark Brent crude fell on Dec. 21 to $36.25, the lowest level since July 2004. Goldman Sachs reportedly thinks the price could drop as low as $20 next year.
The favorable prices encouraged people to drive more than ever in 2015, and that might be dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts the many miles on the road could push fatalities up 8.1 percent for the year. If that happens, it would be the largest year-over-year percentage jump since 1946.