FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Drivers are bracing for gas prices to exceed $4 per gallon at the pumps.

On Friday, North Carolina’s average unleaded gas price is $3.74 per gallon — that’s up 9 cents from just Thursday, according to AAA.

People are spending $40, $60, and even $80 to fill up their tanks. Drivers say they are growing frustrated and helpless.

“It stinks. It stinks. There is no doubt about it,” Jennifer Reed said.

Reed and her husband John are feeling the pain at the pump. They’re headed down to South Carolina from Virginia to visit her parents since the COVID-19 pandemic kept them apart.

“This has been very expensive gas since we left Virginia this morning,” John said.

Reed said they feel gas is even more expensive since they are traveling on a major interstate, Interstate-95.

CBS17 found gas prices around $3.89 at several stations along I-95 between Raleigh and Fayetteville. Fuel is already $4 in some parts of the region.

Economists say the Russian invasion of Ukraine is leading to higher prices.

“I have to really look into my heart and feel like I’m not on a basement floor or hiding in a subway in Ukraine. So, I think it’s time for Americans to look this in the eye make some sacrifices hopefully on a short-term basics,” Reed said.

Those are sacrifices she said her family is already making.

“We don’t buy as much of the fun stuff at the grocery store. We don’t say ‘yes’ to everything our children want,” she said.

“So, yes. We are all feeling it, but trying to make the best of it and hopefully that it will change,” Reed said.