Summer Fuel Costs Won't Deter Motorists

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Summer Fuel Costs Won't Deter Motorists

U.S. motorists are planning a record number of road trips this summer, according to travel industry surveys -- an indication that all-time high gasoline prices and a sluggish economy have failed to cut into driving demand.

Roughly 28.5 million Americans plan to drive 50 miles or more from home on Memorial Day weekend, up slightly from last year's record 28.4 million, according to an American Automobile Association's (AAA) survey of 1,300 people.

Americans plan to take more than 230 million one-person trips more than 50 miles away from home during June, July and August -- up slightly from last year, according to the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). Roughly 75 percent of those trips will be by automobile.

The increase in driving and travel plans comes despite high retail gasoline prices, which are hovering near a record average of $1.72 a gallon due to tight supplies and high crude oil prices, Reuters reported.

The AAA travel survey also debunks a theory that high gasoline prices would prod U.S. travelers to fly instead of driving to vacation destinations. The same number of people as last year, 5.7 million, plan to use airplanes, trains or buses in place of a car for Memorial Day weekend vacations. TIA said 22 percent of summer travelers plan to take airplanes, according to their survey.