Virginians break travel rates for Independence Day weekend

Virginians break travel rates for Independence Day weekend
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - More Virginians are taking to the roads instead of flying for the Fourth of July weekend, despite high gas prices.

AAA predicts 1.2 million Virginians are driving to their destination this weekend; that’s the highest rate AAA has ever seen for Independence Day travel.

For Jeremy Bersch, the Fourth of July weekend means family reunions at Lake Gaston.

“We do it every year - for 67 years now,” he said.

It’s routine for gas prices to jump ahead of holidays, but drivers are unexpectedly catching a bit of a break at the pump.

“I work from home, so I don’t have to drive to the office during the week. So, that is really my saving grace for not having too much to complain on it. It is really tough,” Bersch said.

AAA spokesperson Morgan Dean reports a decline in gas prices in Virginia over the last two weeks. Fear of a recession in the U.S., he said, is driving down high costs.

“A lot of that has been a pull back on the price of crude oil. As those who trade on the crude oil are concerned, the demand may not be as high down the road because of the economic uncertainties right now,” Dean said.

As numbers fluctuate, demand at the pump has stayed the same.

“Today’s prices [are] $1.72 more than what we paid going into the holiday last year. So, I think that’s the perspective. However, we are down more than 20 cents from the record we set about two weeks ago,” Dean said.

That relief may be short-lived. Friday, the state’s new gas tax jumped by 7%, which breaks down to .03 cents per gallon.

State troopers remind drivers to stay vigilant as they ramp up patrol during the holiday weekend. Last Independence Day weekend, 12 people died in crashes on Virginia roadways.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.