Gas prices are high, and likely to stay that way

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gas prices are high right now, and likely to stay high throughout the post-pandemic summer.

"It definitely makes me want to drive a lot less, for sure," said Kisha Niro.

"It's my first fill up at that price," said Kurt Blemaster. "It's not good."

"We have seen a dramatic increase in price over the last, let's call it six to seven months, and all of this has to do with the economy reopening," said Patrick De Haan, Gas Buddy.

The national average price for a gallon of regular stands at $3.10, the highest since October 2014. The average is up just 2% since Memorial Day, but 42% from a year ago, when pandemic restrictions brought demand to a near halt and sent oil and gas prices plunging.

In Illinois, gas prices are at their highest since 2014 and likely to stay high until late summer. Currently, the average price is $3.45 a gallon.

"We could go another 15 to 20 cents higher than today, and that would put us on levels about $3.65 on average," De Haan said.

AAA Auto Club Group estimates 2.5 million Illinoisans will be traveled by car for the July 4 holiday weekend. Since many feel safe traveling in their own vehicle during the pandemic, gas prices may cause belt-tightening elsewhere.

"The gas price is not going to deter them from taking their trip they are just going to make some budgeting expenses such as the lodging and maybe not eating out as often," said Molly Hart, spokeswoman for AAA Auto Club Group.

Some are simply opting out of summer road trips.

De Haan reminds motorists who are traveling, gas price are lower outside of Illinois so you may want to fill up on the road.

CNN Wire contributed to this report
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