BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Over the past several years, the prices of gasoline have been cycling between highs and lows. Usually the pattern has indicated that consumers start to see the prices increase during the spring months, reach their peak sometime after Memorial Day and steadily decrease for the rest of the year.
Consumers saw gas prices dramatically increase earlier this year than in years prior. Analysts were predicting a national average reaching over $4.25 per gallon come Memorial Day. However, Western New Yorkers are already experiencing prices close to that mark.
The prices of crude oil have gone down significantly, after a government report showed a larger than expected increase in U.S. crude supplies. However, even though the price of oil has dropped, that does not suggest an instant change in gasoline prices.
"76% of the cost is crude oil, so when it does go down it should help, but the problem is it's not an instant change. So even though the price of oil is going down, it doesn't necessarily mean the cost at the pump is going down," said Steve Pacer, Public Affairs Specialist at AAA of Western New York.
Analysts are also predicting that gas prices will peak earlier this year, than previous years. Last year, the gas prices peaked in May and back in 2008 they peaked in July. With an earlier peak this year, consumers will hopefully see the prices of gasoline decrease before the busy summer months.
"The analysts we are working with are predicting the peak to happen sometime between mid April and mid May. So the hope is that by the time the driving season comes around which is Memorial Day that we'll actually see prices decreasing and that'll continue throughout the rest of the year," Pacer said.
With prices hopefully dropping earlier this year than in years past, people will be able to take those additional road trips without let the price of gasoline affect their travel plans.