ALTON/EDWARDSVILLE - Record holiday gas prices won’t stop many Americans from traveling by car this Independence Day weekend, AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria pointed out today.

The gas prices this Independence Day weekend will be the most ever, Chabarria said.

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"Despite national gas prices being $1.74 more per average gallon compared to last year and the most expensive ever for the holiday, Americans will travel by car in record numbers this July 4th weekend," he said. "AAA expects 42 million Americans to travel by car, the most on record for that mode of travel during the holiday.

"In total, 47.9 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, just shy of 2019 levels. The increase in volume, due largely to pent-up demand for travel, will put more pressure on the demand for fuel. This is occurring as supplies remain tight around the globe for crude oil and refined products. While gas prices have been dropping over the last two weeks, it is possible they could reverse course and begin climbing again in July."

Drivers in Missouri are paying the 11th lowest gas price average in the country, according to Meanwhile, drivers in California are paying the most at $6.29 on average for a gallon of regular unleaded.

A survey of gas prices locally on by Gas Buddy showed this on Wednesday and Thursday:

Shell, $5.07 a gallon for regular unleaded, Wednesday, 1110 East Broadway in Alton.

Casey's, $4.89, Thursday morning, 2517 Washington Ave. and Locust Avenue, Alton.

Quik Trip, $4.62 a gallon Thursday morning, 2809 Godfrey Road and Homer Adams Parkway, Godfrey.

Circle K, 4.65 a gallon Thursday morning, 716 W. Saint Louis Ave. in East Alton.

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Casey's, $4.65 a gallon, Thursday morning, 331 E. Edwardsville Road, Wood River.

Phillips 66, $4.95 a gallon Thursday, 980 E. Ferguson, Wood River.

Quik Trip, $4.95 a gallon Thursday morning, 605 W. Bethalto Drive, Bethalto.

Shell, $4.99 a gallon, Wednesday morning, 121 E. Vandalia, Edwardsville.

Circle K, $4.89 a gallon Thursday morning, 629 W. Schwarz St., Edwardsville.

To check on area gas prices any day, click below:

AAA Tips to save money on fuel:

Bad driving isn’t just unsafe. It is expensive. Studies have repeatedly shown that personal driving habits are the single biggest factor that affects vehicle fuel consumption. Adopting new and improved driving behaviors can contribute to significant savings at the gas pump.

Here are some simple ways drivers can improve fuel efficiency:

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.

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