SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Gasoline prices are up for a 24th straight day. So far this year oil prices have gone up 10 percent.
Gas has never been this high at this time of year, and analysts say it could reach a record of $4.25 per gallon by late April.
The national average for gasoline hit $3.74 per gallon Friday. That's an increase of 46.5 cents per gallon since the start of 2012. And in the Springfield area you can expect to pay an average of $3.70 per gallon.
There's two main things driving this increase in pump prices, fear and speculation.
Gasoline has surged as its primary ingredient, oil, gets more expensive. Oil prices have climbed since January on fears that world supplies could be reduced as the West confronts Iran over its nuclear program.
For so many Americans, it's frustrating but unavoidable, because they've got to get to work somehow. "I've had two friends at work that have bought mopeds, and I'm giving it some serious thought," said Charlotte Kouadio, "I mean, by the summer, we can't see it right now, but if it's five dollars, my goodness."
"I work a delivery job for the city, and every day I buy $30 to $40 of gas. It's too high," said Haci Bayonam of Springfield.
Analysts say it could get worse before it gets better if the standoff in Iran escalates into military conflict, prices could jump another 50 cents. Add that to the usual summer increase of 20 cents or so due to increased demand, and $5 a gallon gas could very well become a reality.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.