Drivers and businesses affected by gas prices have been pleasantly surprised because gas prices typically rise during the month of May. The current peak national average price for this year was $3.98 on May 5th, 2011.
In mid-May, Neil Gamson, an analyst for the Energy Information Administration, said “It is possible we have reached our peak.” However, that could change if the violence in the Middle East gets worse or if there is a bad hurricane season.
Currently the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.78, down 3 cents from last week and 18 cents from one month ago according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Although this month’s decreases are good news, prices are still up over $1.00 from one year ago. Diesel fuel is currently averaging $4.00 per gallon, down 16 cents from one month ago.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the number of miles driven by Americans declined 1.4 percent in March compared to a year ago. This marks the first year-over-year decline in the number of miles driven in 13 months, suggesting expensive fuel prices may have caused Americans to curtail driving.
The national average price for gasoline for the month of March 2011 was $3.53 per gallon. This would support the opinion by some analysts that, on average, many Americans begin to change their driving behaviors when the price of gasoline reaches $3.50 or more.