OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Over the Labor Day weekend, Americans will be spending nearly $2 billion less on gasoline than they did in June according to GasBuddy. AAA Oklahoma expects the Labor Day holiday weekend travel volume to return to near pre-pandemic levels. 

According to AAA Oklahoma, Labor Day airfares are up 20% from last year and 30% from the same period in 2020, which means people are back to traveling this weekend, as well as returning to traditions, such as lakes trips, seeing family, and of course, traveling to see their favorite sport teams play. 

A big problem during Labor Day weekend last year was the number of alcohol or drug related crashes throughout the state.  

“During 2021 Labor Day weekend, we had 483 crashes documented by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Across the state, 483 crashes occurred in our state last year. During the Labor Day four-day weekend, 53 of those were identified as alcohol or drug related. It’s so important that if you are planning to enjoy alcohol or drugs, you need to have a designated driver,” said Leslie Gamble, Manager, Public & Government Affairs AAA Oklahoma. 

Last year, AAA Oklahoma saw about 4,300 people who needed a roadside technician. So, they suggest being prepared before heading out this weekend.  

“That’s from everything from a dead battery to pocket lockout. So, locking your keys in your car or flat tires. So have a plan. Ideally before you head out, get your vehicle checked out, especially those tires, the car battery and also have a backup plan, a roadside assistance plan,” said Gamble.  

Leslie Gamble with AAA Oklahoma said, “Gas prices have been coming down a little bit each day since they reached an all-time high in mid-June.” 

According to GasBuddy data, “Friday, U.S. gasoline demand rose 6.8% from the prior Friday and was 4.6% above the average of the last four Fridays,” said GasBuddy expert, Patrick Dee Han. 

“Even though we are paying about $0.30 less than we did a month ago, we’re still paying $0.50 more than we did a year ago. So hadn’t quite come back down to where it was a year ago. Now, we were paying about $2.88 a gallon compared to $3.43 a gallon on average across Oklahoma,” said Gamble.  

According to Patrick Dee Han, “Lawton, Oklahoma is on the cusp of being the first city in the country to see average gas prices at $2.99 gallon! Currently at $3.005.”