Motorists heading out for the Memorial Day weekend will see gasoline prices about 30 cents lower than this same time last year.
A survey of 21 Orangeburg area stations Monday afternoon showed the average price of regular unleaded was $3.339 a gallon.
Last year, gasoline prices in Orangeburg averaged $3.636 a gallon during the Memorial Day holiday.
The least expensive gas sold for $3.269 cash at several places around Orangeburg, including Dodge’s Store and Henry’s Travel Plaza, both on Edisto Drive; Hot Spot on John C. Calhoun Drive and Shell at the corner of John C. Calhoun Drive and Broughton Street.
Two years ago, Memorial Day prices were averaging $2.62 a gallon in Orangeburg. Orangeburg’s average price for regular gas was $2.995 a gallon during Christmas 2011.
Statewide, gasoline prices averaged $3.319 a gallon Monday, down from $3.60 a gallon from last year. Nationally, gasoline prices averaged $3.69 a gallon, down from $3.843 a gallon last year.
South Carolina has the lowest gas prices in the nation, according to gasbuddy.com.
Americans are likely to stay closer to home this Memorial Day holiday. AAA Carolinas is projecting only a 1.2 percent increase in people traveling more than 50 miles from home over last year.
There is expected to be about a 3.3 percent increase of travelers in the Carolinas this weekend compared to last Memorial Day.
Economic analysts say while the economy continues to improve, average Americans are still reeling from record high gas prices for the first quarter of the year.
Oil prices could drop further this week as crude oil stockpiles increase. Economic concerns from the United States and European Union could also cut into the price, reducing the price of gasoline.
As more motorists embark on their respective journeys, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is also annually one of the deadliest.
Last year, there was one highway fatality in Orangeburg County during the long weekend. There were 12 fatalities statewide, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.