Just when I thought gas prices had peaked and were on the way down, BAM!, right back up again.

As Americans Hit the Road, Prices Hit the Roof

According to Travel Pulse, AAA says it's expected that 47.7 million Americans will travel over the 4th of July weekend with 91% of travelers expected to do it by way of car. That's 43 million people hitting the gas pumps across America, and wouldn't you know it, gas is at its highest price in seven years.

The Associated Press reports that gas prices rose 2 1/2 cents last week to a national average of $3.09 per gallon. That's 92 cents higher than this time last year.

It's All About Supply and Demand

Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy petroleum analyst, says we should all be ready to pay more for the remainder of the summer: “Motorists should prepare to dig deeper for the second half of the summer, unfortunately.”

So what's driving up the gas prices? Demand for fuel is higher than its been in 15 months, and we are entering hurricane season. That always seems to effect the prices at the pump.

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Gas Prices in Texas Aren't So Bad Compared to Other States

Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana are still the cheapest gas in the country with the per gallon price in the $2.70's, while California and Hawaii are the highest with California coming in at $4.27 per gallon according to AAA's Gas Prices website.

A Shortage of Truck Drivers Is Also a Factor

Something else to be aware of is the gas shortage caused by the lack of tanker truck drivers as reported by our partners at KWTX.  National Tank Truck Carriers reports that up to 25% of tank trucks are just sitting idle because of the results of the pandemic and the lockdowns.

Many drivers were forced to retire or find other work, so finding new drivers has been challenging as states start to open back up.

All together it's causing gas shortages in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. No trucks, no gas: it's a simple as that.

Have a Plan

As always it's best to plan ahead if you are heading out this holiday weekend. Make sure you fill up before heading out, and try to have an exit strategy for big events that doesn't result in you sitting in a traffic jam of people trying to leave after the big fireworks show or concert.

Think about packing a cooler in the trunk and just having some cold drinks and snacks until the traffic clears, or find a place to park and enjoy the show from a distance so you don't get caught in the jam.

10 Cheapest Texas Getaways

June 18 was National Wanna Get Away Day, and it got us to thinking of where Texans can get away from it all this summer and have a great time without breaking the bank.

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.