When millions of motorists hit the road over the upcoming long holiday weekend, they could pay the lowest Independence Day gasoline prices in 12 years, according to GasBuddy.com.
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said the national average for regular gas was $2.25 early Wednesday, but on its site, GasBuddy's live tracking system showed that prices were ticking upward.
Here's what's happening around the U.S. as we head into the Independence Day holiday weekend:
Pump prices fell this past week in all but a handful of states, and on Wednesday, AAA listed five states where regular averaged less than $2: Mississippi and Missouri, $1.99; Alabama, $1.98; Oklahoma, $1.96; and South Carolina, $1.92.
Hawaii, at $3.06, was the only state where regular averaged more than $3. California, at $2.95, and Alaska, at $2.85, were next highest.
Gas prices nationwide have fallen all but one of the last 28 days, according to GasBuddy. If that trend continues into early next week, motorists would be in line for the lowest gas prices on July 4 since 2005, when the national average for regular was $2.20, GasBuddy said in a release. Last year, regular averaged $2.27 on July 4.
Pump prices are typically higher on the Fourth of July than on New Year's Day due to greater demand, but GasBuddy said that this year they could be lower for the first time in its 17-year history as an online price tracking service. The national average for regular was $2.33 on January 1.
AAA predicted that 37.5 million Americans — nearly 3 percent more than last year — will drive to a holiday destination over the Independence Day weekend, the busiest travel weekend of the summer. That spike in demand "potentially can mean a small increase in holiday weekend gas prices," AAA said in a release.
Over the past month, the national average for regular has dropped 12 cents and, at $2.25, is 5 cents lower than a year ago, according to AAA. At $2.80, premium gas is less than a penny more than a year ago, and diesel fuel is 8 cents more at $2.45.