SAN DIEGO (CBS Newspath) -- With more Americans hitting the road, gas prices are on the rise. At the same time, there are concerns gas deliveries could be slowed because of a trucker shortage.

"A lot of drivers were retiring early during COVID that were planning to retire in the next few years, so suddenly the supply shrunk, the demand grew,” said Brad Ball, the president of Roadmaster Drivers School.

Adding to the problem, many driving schools shut down during the pandemic. Then, they had to implement social distancing rules when they reopened.

Western Truck School in Sacramento, California has half the students they usually do. "We've had to schedule our training out farther because of the number of people that are allowed inside the truck,” said Mike Nord who runs the school.

The trucker shortage is expected to impact the delivery of goods this summer, including gas. Fuel prices plummeted last year during the height of the pandemic. But now, things are returning to normal levels. The national average for a gallon of gas in May of 2020 was $1.78, but it's now up to $2.92.

"We're not seeing a shortage, what we're seeing is a delay in deliveries, which has impacted a small number of markets in the past month,” said AAA’s Jeanette McGee. She says refineries have plenty of gas and prices shouldn't go up much higher this summer.

But getting fuel to the pumps is taking a little longer. That could lead to tight supplies in a few places. McGee said, "It's more likely to happen in spots that are popular travel destinations like beaches and like mountains."

McGee said there's no reason to worry too much. There might be scattered shortages in the coming months, but it will still be easy to find gas and fill up.  

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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