BALTIMORE (WJZ)– How low can you go? Gas prices are expected to drop below $3 a gallon by Halloween, according to energy analysts.

Rochelle Ritchie has reaction from drivers, and more on what’s driving prices down.

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The answer is simple: Crude oil prices have dropped and now what people pay at the pump is less.

Filling up at the tank used to seem like an easy enough task, but watching the dollars add up has been a setback for many like business owner Alan Bland.

“It’s really tough on a small businessman,” Bland said.

For 30 years, Bland has owned his business but says once gas prices shot up, he had to dig deep in his pockets to fill up his work truck, spending nearly $500 to $600 a month.

“That’s a lot of money, that’s a ton of money,” he said.

But on Friday, energy analysts have provided a light at the end of a long dark tunnel, predicting gas prices to hit below $3 a gallon by Halloween.

“I find that very hard to believe. They’ve been high for very long,” a driver said.

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In just one year, the national average has dropped 18 cents. The state of Maryland has seen a drop of more than 30 cents and Baltimore went from $3.64 to $3.34.

Ragina Averella with AAA says the recent predictions and drop in gas prices are solely due to crude oil prices going down.

“We’ve seen them consistently drop over the last few weeks, trading in the $80 to $85 per barrel range,” she said.

Prices at the pump are expected to drop even lower by the Fourth of July just in time for the nearly 40 million Americans expected to hit the road.

“Typically, we see prices go up right around the holidays season but we have seen them decline actually as we were approaching the Memorial Day holiday weekend,” Averella said.

Drivers say gas prices below $3 a gallon sounds good but they’ll believe it when they see it.

“I would love to see that happen. God knows I would,” Bland said.

The expected drop in prices could have an impact on consumer spending and the presidential elections.

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