Fuel prices have skyrocketed across the US, with a gallon of gas reaching past $5.00 in some parts of the country.
The price of petrol has been continually climbing for the past 32 days, causing many Americans to spend as much as 10% of their income on gas.
Experts are puzzled why prices keep ascending, as many drivers tend to shy away from long trips in the winter months due to slick road conditions.
According to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report, the national average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.73, up two cents from yesterday.
A year ago, the median price was $3.56 per gallon.
The escalating cost of fuel comes as many Americans are facing an end to Bush-era tax cuts and are already coping with smaller paychecks and less disposable income.
KTLA reports that regular fuel costs $5.09 a gallon, while premium can run up to an eye-watering $5.39 a gallon.
With most non-hybrid vehicles getting between 20-30 miles per gallon and most drivers averaging 29 miles a day, the price spike is worrisome, especially since fuel prices tend to rise during the spring and summer months.
The cause of the price hikes is complex – CNN Money reports that it is a “confluence of factors, from rising crude oil prices, to production cuts and refinery closings”.
In addition, consumer reports show that the job and housing markets are slowly but surely creeping back to where they were before the recession, meaning the cost of oil has been rising with it.
North Dakotans have paid the most for fuel, based on their income. According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the average gas price is $3.67 a gallon.
While it’s not the priciest in the nation, it is a whopping 10.3% of their income.
Prices typically rise in March and April, when car owners begin to travel longer distances.