The final travel holiday of the summer is upon us, and soon, its traffic will be, too. About 2 million Floridians are expected to travel for Labor Day Weekend according to AAA, The Auto Club Group, and motorists hitting the road for the long weekend will face some of the highest gas prices since 2014.
"The past several months gas prices have been volatile and somewhat unpredictable," Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesperson, said. He expects higher demand to push up gas prices through the weekend.
As of Thursday, gas prices in Florida averaged $2.79 per gallon, up 4 cents over the week. Tampa Bay prices were $2.78 per gallon, up 8 cents over the week. Nationally, gas was $2.84 per gallon.
AAA discontinued its Labor Day travel forecasts in 2016 because the lower volume of travelers. Its 2018 travelers prediction comes from 2015 numbers adjusted for the same amount of growth Independence Day travel had since then.
Here’s what to be aware of if you’re planning on traveling this weekend:
Biggest summer travel holidays by traveler volume, according to AAA:
• July 4: 46.9 million Americans, 2.4 million Floridians
• Memorial Day: 41.5 million Americans, 2.2 million
• Labor Day: 38 million travelers, 2 million Floridians
Florida Labor Day gas prices per gallon:
• 2017: $2.55
• 2016: $2.02
• 2015: $2.14
• 2014: $3.21
Average labor required to buy a tank of gas nationally on Labor Day Weekend, according to gas tracker site GasBuddy.com:
• 2018: 1 hour, 48 minutes
• 2017: 1 hour, 48 minutes
• 2016: 1 hour, 32 minutes
• 2015: 1 hour, 43 minutes
States with most frequent dead car batteries, according to Interstate Batteries:
• No. 1: Florida
• No. 2: Louisiana
• No. 3: Arizona
• No. 4: California
Driving habits reported by Gen X, the most-distracted driving generation according to Volvo and Harris Poll:
• Talking on the phone: 70 percent
• Reading texts: Nearly 60 percent
• Checking social media: Nearly 55 percent
Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.