You didn't know how good you had it, paying about $4.08 per gallon at the gas pump a month ago.

As of May 23, New Jersey drivers are paying, on average, $4.75 for a gallon of regular, according to GasBuddy. And you shouldn't expect any relief ahead of the holiday weekend.

One year ago, the average price was a little more than $3 per gallon.

Prices have been flirting with the $4.80 mark for much of the past week. They've been on a gradual incline since the middle of April.

"Everything that we're hearing so far is showing that gas prices are going to remain elevated at least for the near future," Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, told New Jersey 101.5.

Crude oil prices continue to trend "very high," Noble noted. Crude oil is a big piece of the prize puzzle at the pump, but the biggest driver of higher prices is supply and demand, and that's not working in drivers' favor either.

New data from the Energy Information Administration show that gasoline stocks decreased by 4.8 million barrels last week, while demand increased from 8.7 million gallons per day to 9 million.

These factors keep upward pressure on gas prices. Also, gas stations are required to switch over to a more expensive summer-blend gasoline by June 1.

"And that can add anywhere from 7 to about 12 cents per gallon," Noble said. "It's the perfect storm."

Despite record prices, more than 936,000 New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more over Memorial Day Weekend, and 92% of them will travel by automobile, according to AAA.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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