Analysts fear that gas prices could reach at least $4 per gallon this summer. Those living in large cities could see prices rise much higher.

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report indicates that the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.48, which up about 11 cents from last month, and up 37 cents from the same time last year. By summer, that price could increase by at least 52 cents.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service says, “I think it’s going to be a chaotic spring, with huge price increases in some places.” Kloza predicts that the national average will reach $4.05 a gallon this summer, though gasoline will be a lot more expensive in major metropolitan areas.

USA Today reports that Patrick DeHaan, an energy analyst for, says large cities, like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., could see prices reach $4.60 a gallon or more.

Many factors impact gas prices. According to The Wall Street Journal, problems in the Middle East and the closing of United States oil refineries have impacted prices. Prices also rise in the spring and summer because of seasonal demand. As the weather improves, more Americans go on vacation, and many drive to their destinations.  

If you can’t use public transportation or carpool to help save on fuel costs, you can control your driving habits and your car’s maintenance. For example, make sure your tires are properly inflated. When you drive, take it easy on your accelerator and brakes. Let the car coast to a stop, rather than stopping abruptly because your car has to work harder to start from a stop. And when you start up again, do so slowly, rather than flooring the accelerator.

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