By Christine D’Antonio


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’ve been out on the roads today, you may have noticed more cars as people head home for the holidays.

Today is considered the first day of the holiday travel season, and this year you can expect even more traffic than in the past.

Nearly all holiday travelers get to where they’re going by car and with gas prices at the lowest levels that they’ve been since 2008, AAA expects this holiday travel season to have the highest volume of travelers ever on record.

“We’re seeing about 10 million people driving on the roads this year. So, a huge increase from last year. Regionally and nationally, this broke all records,” AAA Director Of Public Affairs Chelsea Pompeani said.

It all starts today as 98.6 million Americans are expected to hit the highways until Jan. 4 to travel 50-plus miles for the year-end holiday season.

The increase is due in part to less pain at the pump.

AAA says the national average is $2.36. In Pittsburgh, it’s slightly higher at $2.73.

Still that’s 66 cents less for Pittsburghers this year over last and you can thank the cold weather.

“When you switch blends from summer to winter, the blends always kind of make the price drop a little bit more. There’s less demand in the winter as well. Not as many people are driving, so we do see gas prices continue to lower,” Pompeani said.

AAA said it expects these low prices to stick around with the price per gallon to drop even lower – about 10 to 15 cents – into 2015.

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