(NewsNation) — For the fourth consecutive day, the average price for a gallon of gas has reached an all-time high, hitting $4.33, according to AAA. Just one year ago, the average price of gas was $2.82 a gallon.
The pain at the pump has many Americans changing their habits, reconsidering when and how they use their vehicles. Those with electric cars are using them more often, avoiding their gas vehicles altogether.
“My entire family, we’re actually taking turns using it to do what we normally would have done with our normal, gasoline vehicle,” said one California man.
In the nation’s most populous state, the average cost of gas topped $5.72 on Friday, with some gas stations in Los Angeles posting rates near $8.
In Pennsylvania, some have given up driving entirely, instead opting for public transportation.
“I ride the bus because it’s cost effective,” said one woman.
An interior designer in North Carolina told NewsNation her rate will have to change.
“I’m going to have to offset it when I travel to clients’ houses, I’m an interior designer. I’m going to have to charge them for my gas,” she said.
The historic surge in fuel prices comes at a time when 82% of Americans are ready to travel again as coronavirus cases plummet across the country. Some are reconsidering their trips entirely.
“I was going to go to Maine and drive down the East Coast to Florida because I have friends and family along the way, so I’m not going to do that yet,” a woman told NewsNation.
Others are concerned about the summer months when they expect to be outdoors and driving more often.
“I’m worried about later on in the year — camping season, fishing season really kicks in — are we going to be able to go as much?” said one man.
A recent AAA poll found 80% of travelers said they would change their daily habit by driving less. However, the organization said it has not seen a slowdown when it comes to vacations.
“As far as travel goes, we’re continuing to see an increase in travel books. Not just driving, but also flying, cruising, every mode of travel,” said Daniel Armbruster with AAA.
So just how long could the rise in prices last? Experts say buckle up.
“Unless something happens geopolitically with what’s happening and impacting crude oil prices, we don’t really see this ending until at least Q3 … maybe later this fall,” said Armbruster.
A recent NewsNation poll found 65% of Americans support economic sanctions that stop Vladimir Putin, even if they result in increased gas prices. It remains to be seen just how long that support will last.
In the meantime, expect fuel prices to continue to rise.