Are American drivers getting spoiled by lower gas prices?
Even though the current average price nationwide for gas is $2.58 per gallon, the highest it's been so far this year, AAA says U.S. households have spent about $400 less on their fuel costs so far in 2015, compared to the same time period last year.
And while prices at the pump have been rising somewhat recently, lower gas prices -- perhaps the lowest in five years -- are expected during the upcoming summer driving season, if the widely-anticipated drop in the cost of crude oil takes place as expected.
"We could see record summer travel because the economy is stronger and gas prices are much cheaper than in recent years," AAA spokesperson Avery Ash said in a press statement. "Lower gas prices will make travel more affordable and this may motivate Americans to take a summer road trip."
AAA also reports that about 60 percent of Americans plan to take a road trip of 50 miles or more from home this year, if gas prices remain near their current levels. And the association says U.S. residents are more than twice as likely to consider the current gas prices as "too high," compared to "cheap."
According to a telephone survey of over 1,000 adults living in the continental U.S., around half of those surveyed think gas prices are too high at $3.00 per gallon. Those results, says AAA, "indicate that Americans may have a lower tolerance for high gas prices now that they are paying much less at the pumps than in previous years."