The average price of gasoline hit an all-time record Tuesday, and the Energy Department says there's a good chance prices will top $4 a gallon in some parts of the country this spring.
The average price nationwide is now almost $3.23 a gallon. That's up more than 25 cents in the past month. The soaring cost of crude oil is pushing the prices up.
Oil prices approached $110 a barrel on the futures market Tuesday before settling back a bit. A weak dollar has contributed to the run-up in oil prices; oil now accounts for about 80 percent of the price of gasoline, before any taxes or refining costs are added in.
Geoff Sundstrom of AAA says it's unusual to see such high gasoline prices at this time of year, long before summer driving vacations push demand for gas to its yearly peak.
High prices are already forcing consumers to ease up on the gas. Consumption last year was virtually flat, and the Energy Department is expecting more of the same this year.