BRADENTON, Fla. — If you've stopped for gas lately, you may be getting sticker shock as gas prices reached a new record Tuesday in Florida and continue to climb across the state.
"This is much worse, price-wise, than it was back in the ’70s and ’80s," said Dr. Tom Smythe, a gas prices expert and finance professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The most recent spike in oil prices came after the European Union's decision to block most oil imports from Russia. Smythe, who has been predicting gas prices for decades, says the war coupled with increasing global demand for gas is driving prices up.
"If people don’t dent their driving, we will see $5 a gallon probably in the next month or so," said Smythe.
And that number is closer than we'd like, gas prices jumped nearly 10 cents overnight in the Tampa Bay area. According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas in the Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater area now stands at $4.68 a gallon for regular with middle-grade gas now over $5 a gallon.
To find gas below an average price of $4.60 a gallon, you'd have to drive to Sumter County at $4.596 a gallon.
Smythe said gas prices over the summer will likely continue to rise.
"It's not over yet and it probably won't be for quite a while," said Smythe.