SACRAMENTO - If you thought gas prices were bad last year, just wait until this summer.
Oil industry analysts are looking at the possibility of record-highs for 2013. Already, prices have risen nearly 50 cents since mid-January.
RELATED: 2013 gas prices could hit record highs
The average price per gallon in California is $4.17. Prices are likely to continue rising through the beginning of April at a rate of a nickel a week.
The highest gas prices ever reached for the national average was in July 2008 when they peaked at $4.11. Currently, the national average is at $3.72. Analysts are expecting that average to reach about $4.25 this year.
Already in Southern California, drivers are paying about $5.20 a gallon, and people are starting to panic.
The reason for the price surge seems to be consumer demand. One oil broker told USA today that the sluggish economy and stubbornly high unemployment is doing little to curb consumer demand