AAA said earlier this week that the national average in the United States was $4.17 per gallon -- the highest mark on record. On Thursday, AAA put the national average even higher -- about $4.32 per gallon.
Several factors are behind the rise in prices, including inflation related to post-COVID-19 economic recovery and the Russian war in Ukraine.
The impact of the higher gas prices vary among U.S. drivers by age. AAA said 18- to 34-year-olds are almost three times as likely to consider carpooling than those over 35. Drivers over 35 are more likely to combine trips and errands and cut down shopping and dining out with the higher prices.
California has the most expensive gas in the United States, with an average of almost $5.70 per gallon. This station in San Francisco was selling regular gas for $6.31 per gallon on Sunday. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
AAA said that while many are recoiling due to the more expensive gas, it doesn't expect the higher prices to have a significant impact on summer travel in the coming months. It said a recent survey showed that 52% of Americans have plans to take a vacation this summer -- of which 42% said they wouldn't change travel plans regardless of the price of gas.
"Since the New Year, the national average has continued a steady climb due to strained supply and increased demand but Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February caused oil prices to spike further," AAA said in a statement. "And in the 14 days since the conflict began, the national average has risen $0.70.
The most expensive gas is found in the West. California has the nation's most expensive gas, by far, at almost $5.70 per gallon -- followed by Nevada ($4.87), Hawaii ($4.81), Oregon ($4.72) and Washington ($4.70).
The least expensive gas in the United States is found in the Midwest. Kansas has the least expensive gas at $3.82 per gallon, followed by Missouri ($3.85), Oklahoma ($3.85), South Dakota ($3.89) and Arkansas ($3.90).