Averaging $5 per gallon this week

California set another gas price record on Monday with the average price for a gallon reaching $4.682.

The new unwelcome record comes just a day after the state saw an all-time high of $4.676 per gallon on Sunday, according to the American Automobile Association.

The country has seen the prices of gasoline, natural gas and heating oil surge along with other commodities as demand increases while supplies struggle to keep up.

A gallon of gas, on average, was $3.415 nationwide Monday, up from $2.126 a year ago.

But Californians are the hardest hit when it comes to what drivers are paying at the pump. The state has the highest gas prices in the nation, according to AAA.

In the Southern California region: the average price per gallon stood at $4.672 in the Los Angeles – Long Beach area, followed by $4.654 in Ventura, $4.635 in Orange County, $4.629 in San Diego, $4.621 in the Santa Barbara area and $4.613 in San Bernardino and $4.591 in Riverside. Some gas stations in the Los Angeles area had prices over $5 per gallon on Monday.

“Unfortunately, the ongoing tight supply of crude oil will likely keep gas prices fluctuating, instead of dropping, for some time,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. AAA told CNN that heavy rainstorms in Northern California may have influenced production capacity, ultimately also affecting Southern California.

“It’s a bit of a supply crunch we have right now, there’s nothing major, until the refineries in Northern California can get back up to full production capacity,” said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Californians can follow these tips from the AAA to improve gas mileage:

• Keep tires properly inflated because under-

   inflation reduces fuel economy

• Slow down and drive the speed limit

• Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration 

• When approaching a red light or stop sign, 

   take your foot off the gas early

• Use cruise control to help maintain a constant 

   speed and save fuel

• Minimize your use of air conditioning

• In hot weather, park in the shade or use a 

   windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup 

   inside the car

• Remove unnecessary bulky items from your 

   car because it takes more fuel to accelerate a 

   heavier car

• Minimize your use of roof racks and remove 

   special carriers when not in use.

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