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Gas prices in Ohio surge past $3 a gallon in some spots

This time last last year, gas prices were nearly a dollar less than what they are now.

CLEVELAND — For the first time in seven years, gas prices in Ohio are nearing $3 per gallon.

According to Jim Garrity with AAA's East Central division, there's a good reason for the climb.

"The pinch that people are feeling right now at the pump is the result of crude oil prices, especially because crude oil is more than 50 cents of every dollar you spend at the pump," he told 3News.

But, believe it or not, traveling is at an all-time high.

"We're looking at a near-record-breaking amount of people that are going to be hitting the road: Almost 44 million across the country, [and] a record amount of Ohioans," Garrity said". These gas prices aren't deterring them."

There's another cause for concern: Truck drivers getting the fuel to the pumps. Ellen Huth with Hamrick Truck Driving School in Medina says it's been a big problem.

"We prepare people to be truck drivers, and I schedule recruiters to come in to talk to the students," she explained. "Last class, I had 26 different companies come in to recruit for their companies. They are all in need of drivers, so it's an ongoing thing.

"Most of the companies need five, six, seven, 10. I mean, it's across the board. It's not just the bankers. It's everything."

While not totally certain what's causing the stall in drivers, Huth says folks should give truck driving a chance.

"Once you get your CDL [Commercial Driver's License], you have a job," she added. "They have signing bonuses. I mean, I could go on and on. I'm [a] retired teacher. I had no signing bonus. They didn't pay me back ... my tuition. I paid for my college.

"Now, your tuition is even paid back. You have a signing bonus, you have anything you want, you have your choice of jobs and, what other field do you have where you have that option? And if you move from state to state, you take your license with you. You have another job."

For more information on Hamrick School, click HERE.

So are we headed for a gas shortage? AAA says it's possible, but it wouldn't last long. Plus, a shortage is normally not market wide.

A good rule of thumb for consumers, though: Fill up when you get down to a quarter tank, and don't take any risks.

If you're wondering when gas prices will drop, trend experts say it all depends on those crude oil prices and when they'll go down. But, as the pandemic has shown us, anything can happen.

For now, the high prices will stick around for at least this summer. 

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