Gas hits fresh record ahead of July 4

National average gas price climbs to $4.098 a gallon as drivers gear up for one of the biggest driving days of the year.

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The record-high price of gasoline is putting a strain on motorists - and spurring some to shift their habits. Here are their stories.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Retail gas prices rose overnight to a record high for the fourth day in a row, ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend - one of the nation's busiest weekends for travel.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to an all-time high of $4.098 from $4.092 the day before, a daily survey by motorist group AAA showed Thursday.

Gas prices are now 3% higher than they were last month and nearly 39% higher, or almost $1.15 more, than year-ago levels.

Alaska has the highest gas prices in the nation. Drivers in the state pay an average of $4.689 a gallon for regular gas. California and Hawaii have the second and third-highest average gas prices, at $4.574 and $4.441, respectively.

The state with the lowest gas prices is Oklahoma, where a gallon of gas averages $3.885.

The survey also showed that the national average price for diesel fuel held steady at $4.767 a gallon.

Record high gas prices have pinched consumers and forced many Americans to cut back on the amount of driving they do.

Thirty-one percent of Americans have canceled or shortened their planned holiday weekend vacation because of rising gas prices, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday.

And last week, AAA said it expects the number of Americans traveling during the July 4 holiday weekend will fall 1.3% to 40.45 million from the 41 million who traveled last year.

Meanwhile, the price for a barrel of oil also rose to a new high, crossing $145 a barrel in electronic trading Thursday.  To top of page

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