So far, the 2013 summer driving season has seen rough on motorists' wallets, and industry analysts don't see relief coming anytime soon.
The summer 2013 driving season has seen motorists pay the third highest gas prices on record, AAA reports. Since Memorial Day weekend, the average national gas price has been $3.59 per gallon — a figure that trails only 2008's $4.04 and 2011's $3.67.
The national average for a gallon of gas jumped by 14 cents from the end of June to the end of July, up to $3.63.
“July was a volatile month for consumers, with gas prices reeling from the lowest to the highest averages seen in months.” said Jenny M. Robinson, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “A combination of expensive crude oil costs, refinery glitches and rising summer demand resulted in sharp price spikes for many motorists.”
Robinson expects gas prices could climb even higher this month.
“Millions of Americans take long road trips in August and any unexpected production problems can result in serious supply and demand issues,” she said. “We often see refinery problems and major hurricanes drive up prices this time of year."
The price of a barrel of crude oil out of West Texas Intermediate reached a 16-month high on July 19, at $108.05. The high price was attributed to unrest in the Middle East and rising demand.
The current average gas prices for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are $3.656, $3.575 and $3.649, respectively, according to AAA.