Skyrocketing gas prices: Have you reached your tipping point?

A new report prepared for the region\'s Transportation Planning Board says the easiest way to fund transportation improvements is with gas taxes. (WTOP)

Nathan Hager,

WASHINGTON – Our collective pain in the gas is getting worse than ever.

Or it could be, at this point, we’re growing numb to it.

The latest nationwide average for the price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.72. That’s a record for late February, and 30 cents higher than just one month ago.

The way oil and gas prices are trending, analysts say drivers shouldn’t be surprised to be paying $4.25 by late April.

That, too, would be a record — fully 14 cents higher than the $4.11 peak the national average reached in July 2008.

Back then, many Americans were seriously considering changing their habits to get the most out of their high-priced fuel, either by altering their driving patterns, downsizing to more fuel-efficient cars, or ditching their vehicles altogether for alternative modes of transportation or telework.

This time around, though, new car prices are expected to surge, and Metro is in the middle of considering a new round of fare hikes.

So are you being forced to grin and bear your pain in the gas? Or is there a tipping point at the pump for you? How high do gas prices need to go before you start to think about altering your driving patterns?

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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