This year’s holiday driving demand — the highest on record — has led to a temporary spike in gas pump prices.

The Daily Times reported that AAA projected that more than 97 million Americans embarked on road trips during the Christmas holiday alone, causing the national average to jump 3 cents from last week to $2.45 per gallon on Wednesday.

Stephanie Milani, AAA’s Tennessee public affairs director, said the increase in fuel demand, combined with a recent upswing in oil prices, has likely contributed to the higher pump prices.

But moving into the New Year, Milani said most states should experience a similar downward trend in gas prices.

In the Southeast, specifically, motorists should expect as much as a 4-cent increase in prices this week, she said. Prices should then begin dwindling off in January due to weakened demand.

“Typically we do see prices fall through the end of the year as demand drops off,” said Milani.

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