Drivers across the Southern Tier and around the country are encountering lower gasoline prices compared to a year ago.

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the average pump price for a gallon of regular in the Binghamton market has dropped to about $3.70. That's about 34 cents a gallon below the average at this point last year.

Average prices in the Binghamton area have fallen about seven cents a gallon in the past month.

Gasoline refineries are operating at a high level at the moment, which means there's an adequate supply to meet seasonal driving demands.

Crude oil prices have dropped recently, contributing to the ongoing decrease in the cost of gasoline for U.S. drivers.

Some industry observers are predicting the declining pump prices will continue for the rest of the year. They say drivers in some parts of the country could see gasoline prices drop below three dollars a gallon.

Prices could jump unexpectedly if a major crisis develops that threatens the global oil supply or if problems develop with big gasoline refineries.