Heavy traffic expected for Memorial Day weekend

Gas prices spike before travel-heavy Memorial Day weekend, but travelers so far are undeterred

AAA estimates that 41.5 million Americans will travel this weekend.

"The Saudis are quite enjoying $80 prices", said Michael Tran, global energy strategist at RBC Capital Markets, to CNN. As of Friday afternoon, the average price of regular gas in the area was $2.90, up from $2.15 on May 25, 2017.

"It's no shock as we continue to see price hikes in 49 of the nation's 50 states in the last week". "I think it's possible that we will hit the high 2.80s, maybe $3.00 a gallon", he said. So we're definitely going to see congestion.

"Be courteous, because of the volume of vehicles on the road, you are bound to run into a few traffic jams, be cut off, or be forced to stop short - remain calm and courteous - don't let other drivers ruin your holiday", he said.

AAA says that fifteen states, including New York, New Jersey and IL, are already facing $3 average gas prices or higher.

Likewise, Patrick Stirling, who drove all the way from Louisiana to Parkston, South Dakota, where he was raised, said the higher gas prices would not impact his travels at all.

Gone are the days of $2-a-gallon gasoline. Gas prices are also at its highest prices since 2014. The Washington Post notes that OPEC, a cartel of middle eastern oil-producing countries, has curtailed oil production for a year ahead of an upcoming initial public offering, a scenario in which higher oil prices mean more valuable stock prices. So as demand is up, supply is down. It remains unclear exactly how much Iranian oil will get knocked offline, but it's safe to say the Iran decision has supported oil and gas prices.

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"But that's really contingent on whether or not partners and allies will follow the sanctions that the U.S.is going to be placing on Iran", he said.

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But with 37 million travelers expected on the nation's roads this holiday weekend - and almost 3 million of those folks in D.C., Maryland and Virginia - higher gas prices have not put a damper on holiday travel.

SCHAPER: DeHaan says the price at the pump is about 60 cents a gallon higher than at this time previous year. "Trends are indicating that this summer is likely to bring the national average to at least $3/gallon".

"I put $60 in it just now and it did not fill it", said Keith Carline who was traveling to Traverse City.

One man said prices are so high his work commute is being affected.

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