Oil prices like the ones at the current level have not been seen since the record highs of 2008.
"We could see gasoline between $4 and $5 a gallon by Memorial Day, maybe sooner," said David Kotok, an oil expert.
It's the prediction that drivers don't want to hear, the kind of talk from some of the country's leading economists that has Kim Ngo worried.
Ngo is a costume designer in Los Angeles and her job has her drive all over town. The rising price of gas has her cutting back on other expenses.
"I have to work harder to make more money and conserve and think about riding the Metro a little more," she said.
The surge in oil prices, based in part on the turmoil in Libya, has caused Wall Street to tumble for the second day in a row and it's causing local drivers plenty of concern.
The price of gas has already climbed 5 cents per gallon this week and it's not going to get any better. Analysts predict prices will blow past the record highs of $4 per gallon by summer.
If the price of gas does climb to $5 per gallon, economists say it will cause the economic recovery to come to a halt.