More Oklahomans Are Running On Empty As Gas Prices Soar


Wednesday, April 20th 2011, 12:11 pm
By: News 9


News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As gas prices continue to rise, so do the number of people running on fumes. According to AAA, more people are running out of gas on Oklahoma roadways.

"During the first three months of this year, Oklahoma's average pump price for self-serve regular shot up 55 cents per gallon, a jump of almost 19 percent," said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. "At the same time, first quarter calls to AAA from Oklahoma members who ran out of fuel rose 13 percent compared to 2010."

In fact, AAA responded to 1,053 out-of-gas service calls across the state during the first quarter of this year, compared to 931 during the same period last year.

"It appears more and more of us are betting that gas prices will come down before time for that next fill-up. Sometimes we cut it too close," said Mai. "But letting your vehicle regularly run on an almost-empty tank can cause even more wallet damage."

Constantly driving on a near-empty tank could cause sediment in the tank to clog the fuel pump or related components. In addition, the fuel pump could overheat and fail, costing drivers even more money in car repairs.

AAA suggests the following tips for motorists:

  • Don't let your fuel level dip below less than a quarter of a tank.
  • Don't touch or pump the gas pedal repeatedly when tying to start a vehicle that has run out of gas.
  • Drive as fuel efficiently as possible by adopting a gentler driving style, slowing down, and avoiding slamming on the brakes or accelerating suddenly.
  • Check gas prices station-by-station by using AAA's free Fuel Price Finder online at AAA.com. Click on Fuel News & Tools in the AAA News & Safety section.