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Gas Prices Jump Ahead Of Labor Day Travel Rush

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(Source: Thinkstock)

(Source: Thinkstock)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Between the normal rush of Labor Day travel and the addition of the escalation of the crisis in Syria, gas prices continue to skyrocket.

Prices jumped 1.8 cents per a gallon Thursday, the largest one-day increase since mid-July, according to AAA. Thursday’s national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was roughly $3.56, up from $3.53 the same time last week.

By Friday, the national average had jumped another $0.02 to $3.58 a gallon for regular. Still, that’s down from one month ago when the national average was $3.62 a gallon and much lower than a year ago at this time when the average price for regular gasoline was $3.83 a gallon.

In the Sunshine State, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.56 a gallon, just below the national average. That’s a rise of roughly $0.05 a gallon since last week, but down $0.03 since last month.

The average price in Fort Lauderdale for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.63 as of Friday morning, which was the same as the price in the city of Miami. West Palm Beach had the highest gas prices in the state at $3.68 a gallon, while Pensacola was the cheapest at $3.49.

AAA said even with the gas prices rising in the past few days, it expects 34.1 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles from home over the Labor Day weekend. If those numbers come to fruition, it will mark a 4.2 increase over last year.

AAA said that out of the 34.1 million travelers, 29.2 million, or roughly 85 percent, will take their cars.  Cindy Bass and her family are heading to the keys from Stuart. “we’re heading down to Long Key to do some lobstering,” she said. We’re meeting other friends down in The Keys, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

But for Bass and the 1.5 million others taking to the open roads in Florida, they’d better beware of highway troopers.  No one at the Florida Highway Patrol will be pushing paper this weekend, everyone is behind the wheel. “Due to the holiday weekend,” explains FHP Corporal John Baker, “We normally have more people out on the road, watching for erratic drivers, people impared.”

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