Gas prices continue to climb and hit another record high on Monday, with the national average sitting at $4.48 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Monday’s national average gallon of gas price was 40 cents more than a month ago, and $1.43 more than a year ago, AAA said.

Only three states have gas prices below $4 a gallon - Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma – with California and Hawaii seeing the higher-than-average prices at $5.98 a gallon and $5.31 a gallon, respectively.

This is the fourth straight week of rising gas prices, with pump prices gaining 15.3 cents in the last week, according to data from gas-tracking platform GasBuddy. Diesel has risen 3 cents in the last week to a national average price of $5.55 per gallon, it said.

“Those filling their tanks last week saw another jolt at the pump, as both gasoline and diesel prices continued their multi-week rally,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement. “New records continued to be set on a near daily basis as the national average edges even closer to $4.50 per gallon.

“Prices later this week could be closer to $5 per gallon than $4, as demand continues to edge higher and inventories of both gasoline and diesel continue to decline, temperatures warm and motorists get back outside and we near the Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer driving season.”

Rising gas prices are primarily a result of the increasing cost of crude oil, which is hovering near $110 a barrel.

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said in a statement. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

De Haan added that, “there isn’t much reason to be optimistic” that gas prices will plummet any time soon but said the “increases may start to slow in the days ahead as pump prices catch up to oil.”

A man poses with a gasoline pump at a Budapest petrol station January 19, 2011.
A man poses with a gasoline pump at a Budapest petrol station January 19, 2011. Reuters / Bernadett Szabo
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