Your trip to the beach this month may cost more than earlier this summer, as fuel prices creep up across the Washington metro area.
The current average nationwide is $3.62 for a regular gallon of gas, according to Oil Price Information Service and AAA. That's nearly a 10-cent per gallon increase over just last week.
In the Washington metro area, prices are in line with the national average at about $3.61. The Washington-area average was $3.51 a week ago and $3.36 a month ago, according to AAA.
“Gas prices have risen steadily since early July and might not retreat until after August,” said Martha M. Meade, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic in this weekend’s outlook release. “That said, crude oil has returned to trade in the $80 per barrel range (down from the $90 per barrel range last week), which means prices at the pump should stay where they are for at least the time being.”
Travelers with a smartphone can download the ‘VDOT 511’ app for real-time congestion maps and a ‘Reach the Beach’ feature, which offers time estimates to different routes to popular beach destinations.
Summer Travel Dangers
Travelers should be aware of the hazards of summer travel. The late summer heat can do a number on your car, and earlier this summer AAA released a variety of tips to help avoid car failure in the sweltering heat. Among those tips, it is advised drivers to not run a car’s AC continuously in stop-and-go-traffic. It should be given periodic breaks and space should be left between a driver and the car in front to ensure engines aren’t absorbing hot exhaust.
The time period between the first week of August and the end of Labor Day weekend are among those with the highest fatality rates on highways, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. Seven of the 15 deadliest days are in these weeks, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when “both the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and the fatality rate per 100 million VMT reach their highest levels of the year.”