AAA said on Monday that gas prices have been on the rise for 32 days straight.
In Columbus, prices have gone up nearly 70 cents in one month.
Driver Tracy Kates had a plan to hold out for better gas prices. That ended Monday night at a Westerville gas station.
“I waited a couple of days, hoping it would come back down in order to fill my tank up, so I guess now I will fill it halfway up,” Kates said.
Kates said that the reality that regular gas was $3.78 per gallon was painful.
She wasn’t alone.
“Last I saw, we were somewhere around $3, but I think it has not been fun,” said driver Jen Harris of Columbus.
As long as prices stay high, drivers who 10TV News spoke with said they would pump “just enough” instead of filling their entire tanks with gas.
“Of course, I am hoping it doesn’t but from the looks of things, it looks like it will be this way for a while,” said Westerville driver Tyler Faris.
High prices at the pump seem not only to affect how much drivers spend at the pump but how much drivers speed when they are behind the wheel.
Drivers wondered what was behind the high prices.
According to AAA spokeswoman Kimberly Schwind, factors include rising crude oil prices and refinery closings.
“We have a major refinery that is going to close on the east coast for good,” Schwind said. “Also, a major refinery in the Chicago area that is going to be undergoing extensive maintenance and has been undergoing extensive maintenance.”
For the average American, the gas price rise is happening at a time when he or she is taking less in pay, now that payroll tax cuts have expired and some are paying higher heating bills.
People like Kates say they are doing what they can to make it all work.
“I’m thinking we are going to reach that $4.50 or $5 mark any day now,” Kates said. “It’s something we have to learn to expect.”
AAA officials predict that gas prices likely are going to stay high through at least April.
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