Gas prices have taken a wild ride this year — first we were told to expect record-breaking fuel costs, and then analysts backed down from that prediction.

Since then, prices have see-sawed back and forth, and now experts expect them to drop again.

Although increasing tensions with Iran, the current US drought, and oil-related disasters in both the Midwest and California have lead to a recent spike in gas prices, energy analyst Phil Flynn says that won’t last.

“I think it’s an aberration,” he said. “If you look at what’s really driving prices, it’s all of these situations that, hopefully, aren’t going to happen every day … Barring more disasters, [gas prices] will come down.”

Is he right? That’s anyone’s guess. But what we do know is that according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, a gallon of gas currently has a national average price of $3.66, which is almost exactly the same as it was at this point in 2011.

Based on that, you could conclude that gas prices have remained fairly stable over the past year — assuming you’ve been able to hang on for the ride.

[Time]