For U.S. drivers the news is getting better and better. Gas prices fell for the fifth consecutive week, just in time for the start of the summer driving season, easing fears that gas prices will top $4 a gallon this summer.
Thursday’s national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline is $3.73, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. This is seven cents cheaper than the price one week ago, 19 cents cheaper than one month ago and 22 cents cheaper than one year ago.
This Saturday, May 5, marked one year since the peak price of 2011: $3.98 per gallon. The peak price to date this year occurred exactly one month earlier on April 5 when the national average reached $3.94. Following the 2011 peak, prices fell for 50 of 54 days, decreasing by 44 cents during that period.
Many of the forces that have been driving up gasoline prices up are reversing, and that is helping bring prices back down, though they still remain near record highs. Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program have eased, while softening economies in the U.S. and Europe have curbed demand. At the same time, some refineries pegged for closure are coming back online, and bottlenecks in the supply of crude oil are becoming unclogged.
The changes have led analysts to temper their price predictions for the summer driving season. A few months ago, some were saying pump prices could shoot above $4 a gallon and even reach $5 by the summer, but now they say that is highly unlikely. That is good news not just for America’s drivers, but also for the economy.
When gas prices near $4 per gallon, many companies have to start looking for ways to save money. Managers look for ways to increase operating efficiencies and start paying attention to how their employees are driving.
Small changes can have a big impact on a large scale, and the cost savings can really start add up. Many are surprised to find out that a fleet tracking system can help them to see immediate results and cut costs across the board.