View Photo Gallery: Every time gas prices soar, Americans get a reminder of how dependent we are on oil.

Washington area drivers should brace for another bout of sticker shock at the pump as gas prices in District top $4 a gallon, with prices in Maryland and Virginia trailing not far behind.

According to a national survey of gas prices released early Wednesday by AAA, a gallon of regular fuel is now averaging $4.14 in the District.

The average price was about $3.84 per gallon a month ago and $3.76 a year ago. The city’s highest recorded average price for regular gas was $4.20 on May 12, 2011, according to AAA.

In Maryland, regular is averaging $3.95 per gallon and in Virginia it’s $3.86.

The national average is $3.91, compared to about $3.70 last month and just below $3.59 this time last year.

D.C. is in the top five among states where gas averages more than $4 per gallon. The city is beaten only by Illinois, Alaska, California and Hawaii, where the average is a wallet-busting $4.54 per gallon.

But there may be hope on the horizon: The price of crude oil, a major indicator of gas prices, has held steady this month after escalating over the winter due to uncertainty in the Middle East.

According to a survey published by Lundberg, an independent market research group, this could help steady U.S. gas prices as we move into spring and summer.

If you’re looking for a deal on the cheapest gas in the DMV, you might want to check out, which maintains a database of reports from volunteer price spotters and service stations across the Washington region.

More coverage:

Average price for regular gasoline, by state

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D.C. region gas prices climb