It's not easy coming up with stories on the Friday before a holiday. I decided I could do something on how unusual it is to see gas prices going down around a holiday weekend. Normally they go up (I thought). So I called our guy Mike Right at AAA to ask him why prices weren't going up before the holiday this time.
His answer surprised me and surpised just about everyone I shared his answer with. Right said the whole notion gas prices go up during holidays is a MYTH. He told me AAA did a study over ten years that showed gas prices went down just as often as they went up during holidays but for some reason we have it in our head gas prices always go up since demand is up.
He said that demand assumption is a bit exaggerated, too. While more people hit the road, they do so in groups. Let's say your family goes to visit friends or family a few hours away this weekend. That's an increase in normal driving but not as much as you'd think. Right explained how on a normal weekend husbands and wives and kids who can drive may all go their seperate ways running errands and doing different activities on the weekend. When a family takes a road trip, those activities aren't happening so there's gas that's not being used. I hadn't thought of that.
On a tangentially related note, if you're filling up only in Missouri these days you're going to do well as our state has the lowest priced gas in the country right now.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV. He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com