DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As Ohioans hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, they are paying much more at the pump and in some cases — double the price.

This year’s pre-Thanksgiving gas price is 62 percent above the same point last year, and 32 percent higher than at the same point in 2019, before the pandemic hit. 

“Here in the Dayton area the average price today is $3.13 per gallon. Last year drivers were paying $1.83 per gallon,” said Cindy Antrican, public affairs manager for AAA.

Dr. Riad Ajami is an international business professor at Wright State University. He said there are several reasons for the spike.

“The main reason is supply. The United States consumes roughly 20 million barrels of oil a day. Out of that, we produce close to 11, so we have to import roughly 9 million barrels and they come from the cartel. They all banded together and decided to limit supply. The supply is still there, but the demand is limited so oil prices go up,” Dr. Ajami said.

If you plan to hit the road this weekend there are things you can do to get the most out of your tank of gas.

“If you’re traveling and you load luggage on top of your vehicle, know that’s going to impact your fuel economy. Vehicles that have not been maintained properly can use more gas, and also tire pressure so make sure your tires are properly inflated,” Antrican said.