Gas prices climb as 40 million Americans hit the roads

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NEW YORK — Some 40 million Americans are hitting the road for the fourth of July holiday. Matt Chaikin is one of the them. He traveled from San Francisco to Los Angeles to be with family knowing he’d be spending more at the pump.

“It factors into the budget but it’s what you have to do at this time of year if you want to see the family and you have to spend a couple of extra bucks.”

Gas prices are up 62 cents compared to this time last year making it the most expensive July fourth holiday price in four years. Jeanette Casselano from AAA said crude oil prices are the main reason why.

“When we see crude prices go up we generally see gas prices go up too, especially right now, even with OPEC’s potential decision to increase their production, it may not be enough to offset the supply levels not keeping pace with demand.”

Prices dropped recently, but they’re expected to go up 10 cents or even more in the coming months.

“There is a potential that gas prices could hit a new high later this fall.”

There are apps like Gas Buddy, Gas Guru, Google maps and Waze that can help drivers find cheaper gas and prices vary greatly depending on where you live. People in the South are paying as low as $2.30 a gallon while drivers in California are paying much more.

And prices are only expected to go higher.

AAA said the worst time to drive in most major cities is Tuesday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. It will be about two times more congested then on a typical work day.