Gas prices may be on the rise right now, but Americans still have reason to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend. AAA reports the current national average is $2.28 per gallon. Prices have increased every day for the last 12 days in a row leading to the highest fuel prices Americans have seen all year. Despite the extra pinch drivers are experiencing this month, 2016 is still set to have the lowest Memorial Day weekend fuel prices since 2005.
AAA predicts the lower gas prices will lead to an increase of summer road trippers this holiday weekend, and in the coming months. Memorial Day is traditionally the start of road trip season, and as many as 34 million Americans plan to hit the road this weekend. It’s not all sunshine and cheap gas on the open road, however. Drivers are worried about the state of American infrastructure, and the increased travel isn’t helping. According to a AAA poll, 70 percent of drivers responded that they are worried about the state of US roads.
“Bad roads and traffic gridlock can make summer travel unpleasant and costly for US drivers,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA Managing Director of Government Relations & Traffic Safety Advocacy, in a press release. “While low gas prices are getting people back behind the wheel this summer, bad roads can hit them hard in the pocket.”
AAA says it expects to receive more than 350,000 calls for towing assistance, thanks to pot holes and crumbling roads. And it’s not just commuters who are getting hit with the high cost of bad roads. A study from the the American Society of Civil Engineers predicted that between 2012 and 2020, bad roads and freeways will drive up expenses for companies and hurt overall productivity, sapping up to $3.1 trillion from the nation’s gross domestic product. The American people also pay a high price with low fuel costs. As prices drop, people drive more and road fatalities rise. Last year, experts predicted a drop below $2 a gallon would lead to 9,000 more traffic deaths.