Today we'll take a look back at past years to see where we stood. Many times gasoline prices are their lowest around this time of year, so let's take a peek!

First off, today. 2010. We stand at a national average price of $2.742 per gallon, having risen over ten cents in the last two weeks. Prices are definitely trending higher.

Since 2010 has just begun, I'm not including it below. Here is how we looked on January 14 in past years, including the trend at that time, and the date on which we peaked, and the price that we hit that day.

2009: $1.778, trend higher, peaked 10-31 $2.688
2008: $3.055, trend lower, peaked 07-15 $4.122
2007: $2.221, trend lower, peaked 05-23 $3.233
2006: $2.293, trend stable, peaked 08-04 $3.014
2005: $1.786, trend higher, peaked 09-03 $3.068
2004: $1.569, trend higher, peaked 05-22 $2.044
2003: $1.436, trend lower, peaked 08-25 $1.750
2002: $1.090, trend lower, peaked 10-19 $1.451
2001: $1.405, trend stable, peaked 05-10 $1.796

Comparing the prices on this day to the price that we peaked, we find that the largest difference between the two was not 2008 (the year oil hit $147), rather 2005, when prices on January 14 were $1.28 lower than the peak. If it makes you feel any better, prices have never gone over $1.28 higher than January 14 throughout the year- this would indicate at worse, prices close to $4 (which we shouldn't even get close to this year).

All said, the next few days will be very important to watch- if oil prices stay under $80, it may indicate oil has weakened and may drop further. If oil can break $80 and stay over that level for a week or more, it indicates that oil may push higher.

For this Summer driving season, I think we'll see the national average spend more time under $3/gal than over it, but we'll have to see how close I am to being correct.