Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, February 5 2013 at 6:37 PM, Updated: Tue, February 5 2013 at 7:37 PM
It's official, Americans are pumping more of their paychecks into their gas tanks.
Last year the spike in gas prices dealt a heavy blow to people still struggling in the bad economy.
In fact, US households shelled out an average $2,912 on gas...hitting the highest level in four years. With the exception of 2008, it's the highest percentage of household income spent on gas in almost three decades.
A report out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, found that Americans are spending almost four-percent of their incomes on buying gas.
Add to that, California gas prices jumped 23-cents in the last week. In Oregon it jumped about 16-cents, according to AAA experts at the Medford branch.
Drivers said they've taken a hit, but there's not much anyone can do.
"You gotta drive, you gotta get to work. So there's nothing you can do about it. It's just kind of like take it as they give it. Don't have a choice," said Central Point resident Andrew Moore.
Last year, American households spent a record $479-billion on gas. That's up eight-billion from the previous year.
However, according to the Energy Information Administration, while Americans are spending more on gas, we're actually buying less of it...as fuel efficient cars hit the road.
Surprisingly, Oregon's gas prices right now are averaging at $3.51. It's currently lower than the national average of $3.53 for a gallon of regular gas, which isn't something that happens often.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.