National average for gas dips below $2 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

National average for gas dips below $2

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Holiday travelers across the country received an early Christmas present in the form of low gas prices.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped below the $2 mark.

AAA said that for the first time since March 2009, gas is $1.99. That's about 45 cents less than a year ago.

"This is a holiday gift that few consumers could have imagined when gasoline was nearly $4 a gallon," said AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter.  "And given the record number of travelers about to hit the road, the timing could not be better."

AAA projected the number of year-end holiday travelers to top 100 million for the first time on record. Roughly 4.4 million of those people will be New Englanders.

The reason is the nearly two thirds of U.S. gas stations hitting the mark that sub-$2 mark.

In Connecticut, however, the average is $2.18. Still, AAA said it's 62 cents less than a year ago.

The auto club said the reason for the drop in prices is that there's more than enough oil and gas supplies around the world to meet demand. In addition, gas prices generally fall through early winter because fewer people are on the roads.

AAA predicted that prices will continue to fall in the coming weeks.

"We have witnessed a historic shift in gas prices that has saved families hundreds of dollars so far this year," Parmenter said. "The best news of all is that there is room for prices to drop even more in the coming weeks."

AAA estimated that the cheap prices have saved drivers $100 billion this year compared to last year, which works out to be nearly $550 per driver.

Season trends suggest that the average will start to rise again come later in the winter as refineries conduct maintenance in advance of the busy summer driving season.

Still, AAA said prices should remain relatively low.

For more on current gas prices, check out AAA's Fuel Gauge report here.

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