Sign o’ the times – we’re running out of gas more than we used to

Item by Chris Graham

I ran out of gas once – about 12 years ago. And let me tell you, it was no fun.

The number of us having this kind of no-fun has more than doubled this year, according to numbers from the Allstate Motor Club, which reports that the number of Virginians running out of gas on the highway had increased 116 percent in the first five months of 2008 compared to the same period of time in 2007.

Through the end of May, Virginia drivers had called the Motor Club 160 times for fuel delivery.

“We can’t directly correlate this rise in the number of people running out of gas to the rise in prices at the pump, but anecdotally we know that consumers are trying hard to stretch their dollar and sometimes that means stretching fuel into fumes,” said Greg Guidos, assistant vice president for Allstate Capital Region. “Drivers should remember running out of gas on the highway can be a lot more than an inconvenience; it can be hazardous.”

The number-one hazard is the obstruction that an out-of-gas car can provide for motorists who have to maneuver around a car on the side of a roadway.

Guidos recommends to drivers who find themselves running out of gas to get off the road immediately if at all possible, and if not, to remember to be as safe as possible when exiting your vehicle in traffic to try to push it to the side of the road.

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