Troopers Seeing More Cars Running Out Of Gas

June 5, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -- With gas topping out at four dollars a gallon, many people are pushing their cars to the limit to avoid filling up.

But a car can only run so long when the gage shows empty. State troopers are now seeing more abandoned cars on the highways.

The prices are almost painful to look at, gas at 4 dollars a gallon or more.

The sky-high numbers are forcing some people to empty their tanks, instead of their wallets. "I let it get on E, because gas is just too high. It's ridiculous," said Tecore Hinton.

But some drivers leave the gas light on a little too long.

Sergeant Lawrence Harrell, with the Georgia State Patrol, says more and more drivers are pushing their cars past the limit. "We are running into a lot of abandoned cars with no driver at the scene when we get there, whether the car is broke down or needs fuel, because the driver has already left," said Sgt. Harrell.

For state troopers, a car running out of gas is more of a safety issue than anything, especially if the driver can't get out of traffic.

"We've had several accidents, some fatalities where the driver didn't safely get off the roadway and was struck by another vehicle," said Sgt. Harrell.

When a state trooper comes across an abandoned car, they put an orange sticker on the window. If the car is there for more than 8 hours on an interstate or more than 24 hours on a highway, the car gets impounded.