Image credit: el clinto, used under Creative Commons license.
Andrew reported before on how higher gas prices lead to more motorists running out of gas. The latest spike in prices, combined with the ongoing financial impact of the recession, is once again causing many folks to play chicken with their gas gauge—and to lose out in the process. In fact, the AAA reports a staggering 18% increase in the number of people running out of gas since the beginning of March. True, driving season is kicking in—so it is fair to assume that more people are out on the roads. It's also fair to say that folks may be a little more careful about filling up their tank if they fear they may get caught out in winter storms. Nevertheless, it's hard to ignore a KDKATV report about an 18% uptick in the number of people calling the AAA because they ran out of gas. One roadside recovery worker in Pittsburgh had little doubt about what is causing it:
"Before it was more absentminded than anything else," Jim Krebs with Brighton Service said. "But now, I believe that's what it is. I believe people are like, 'Man, I got to buy something else so I'm not going to put gas in the car. I should be able to make it,' and they don't."
Of course as Andrew pointed out in his original piece in 2008, drivers would do well to do more than just skimp on filling up their tanks. From driving slower through buying a more fuel efficient car (yeah, I know, with all that money you don't have) to more advanced hypermiling techniques, there is plenty we can do even if we plan to stay behind the wheel of a car. And then there's always walking, biking, mass transit or car pooling for those who really want to avoid filling up that tank!
More on Gas Prices and Behavior Change
Hypermiling Becomes More Popular as Gas Prices Rise
More Motorists are Running Out of Gas
Our Radical Gas Saving Tip: Drive at 55!