"E" stands for Empty, Not Enough

June 2, 2008

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As gas prices continue to climb, fewer people are filling their tanks. That means more people are running out of gas. AAA says it has seen a 15% increase in calls from motorists stranded on the side of the road because they tried to go too far with the gauge on "E."

Filing up a tank of gas costs a lot of money these days.  Grace DiBenedetto said, "Last time I only put 11 gallons in, it cost fifty bucks." "About $65," said David Wheeler.  "Too much. Way too much."

And that's why lots of folks are leaving the pumps less than full. Wheeler doesn't fill his tank anymore. "It just seems cheaper to put $30 in than to put $70 in," he said. DiBenedetto said, "I try to keep it at more than half full at least."

But putting in a few dollars here and there won't get you too far. Wayne Cox with Quality wrecker said, "More are running out of gas because they are too afraid to stop and pay the high price."

In addition to typical service calls, Wrecker companies have seen an increase in calls for folks who've run out of gas. "Used to you'd have one or two calls a week, now you're getting four or five calls a week out of fuel," said Cox.

If you do find yourself out-of-gas, out on the side of the road, you can call a tow company. They'll be more than happy to help you at about $60 for an in town service call, making you wish you would have just put that $60 in your tank.

"You might as well just stop, go ahead and bite the bullet," said Cox. "Pay out the money, put it in your car and ride as long as you want to." Or at least as long as that tank will take you.

Running on fumes, or near empty, can cost you. It can damage your fuel pump. If you are a member of an auto club, like AAA, At least you won't have to pay for a rescue call if you run out of gas. They typically cover gas delivery costs.