This would be a great time for a road trip.

Too bad that most drivers are stuck at home, waiting out the coronavirus outbreak.

Gasoline prices have tumbled over the past week, hitting near $1.50 a gallon at stations in the area.

"This is a layup, a slam dunk. You are going sharply lower,’’ said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service.

"Nobody really has any idea how long this is going to last," said Kimberly Schwind, spokeswoman for Ohio AAA. "It really depends on how long this pandemic is going to last.’’

Blame (or credit) the coronavirus for sapping demand for gasoline and, as a result, prices. The inability of Russia and Saudia Arabia to strike a deal on how much oil to produce gets some of the credit as well, analysts say.

Oil prices, already low going into the pandemic, are hovering at about $22 a barrel compared with $100 just a few years ago. That’s the lowest price since 2002.

Come April, demand for gasoline could be cut in half, back to levels last seen when Richard Nixon was president, Kloza said.

In the Portage and Summit county areas, drivers enjoyed gas prices in the $1.50s. In the Akron area, prices at some stations dipped even lower, while other prices throughout the region were as much as 20 to 40 cents higher.

Paul Smith of Ravenna, who was buying gas for $1.53 at the Sheetz station in Ravenna, said the prices didn't help him much. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, he worked from home and estimates that he traveled less than 100 miles each month.

"It's nice," he said. "I hear a lot of other people like it."

But drivers of large trucks said they were saving about $20 per tank thanks to the lower gas prices.

Scott Reber, also of Ravenna, was fueling up his Dodge Ram at the same station. He estimates that it took more than $50 to fuel up his truck before. Now, he said, he typically spends less than $30 to top of his tank, although he said he doesn't like his fuel gauge to get too low.

The savings come at a good time for Reber, since statewide mandates on social distancing have forced him to take a few days off from his job as a landscaper.

Ron Davis of Mogadore was fueling up at Sam's Club in Cuyahoga Falls, where gas was $1.57 to members of the club.

"It's pretty good for me." he said. It usually costs Davis at least $60 to fill up his Chevy Silverado, and now he's paying about $37 for a tank of gas.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline was $1.74 in Ohio on Wednesday. The statewide average is down 17 cents in a week and 65 cents in a month.

The virus is taking a toll on gas stations, convenience stores and independently owned grocery stores that sell gasoline.

Demand is down 30% to 40% already at some stores, said Ed Weglarz, director of petroleum at Midwest Independent Retailers Association.

And if drivers aren’t buying gasoline, that means they also aren’t in the store buying coffee, soda, sandwiches, pizza and other items.

"Gas is used as an incentive to get the people to buy the other services and products where you actually get a decent margin,’’ he said.

The problem isn’t just that people aren’t going to work. The shutdown from the virus means no ball games, concerts, dinners out and vacations, sucking even more demand for gasoline, Kloza said. "The price is incredibly palatable for consumers," he said.

Prices could be headed even lower in the next several days as the low oil prices fully get worked into prices at the pump. Prices could even fall to $1 a gallon in parts of the country.

"More cities and states are getting locked down," Schwind said. "Gasoline demand destruction continues to be the most pressing concern.’’