Wishing for higher MPG: more people are running out of gas

Photo by Laffy4k. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Feel like pushing your luck a few more miles? I think you are, as it seems like more and more drivers are hoping the half- or quarter-fill-ups at the gas station will take them a bit further than is possible. It's easy to find news reports today about an increase in stranded drivers on American roads these days, drivers who can't deal with $4 gallons of gas.

In North Carolina, the state highway patrol is dealing with more drivers stuck on the side of the road than before. No, that's not accurate. A local TV station says, "Trooper Jeff Nash said some people don't even make it to the shoulder of the road when they're out of fuel, and end up stranded in the middle of the highway."

The AP finds this is a national trend. From Philadelphia to Dallas, Oregon to Tennessee, anecdotal evidence supports the idea that people are simply unable to completely fill up the tank these days and are therefore running out before reaching their destination. There are no national statistics that track strandees, but the AP found that out-of-gas calls to the AAA in the Philadelphia area doubled between May 2007 and May 2008, from 81 to 161. AAA Mid-Atlantic saw a 15 percent increase over last year.

[Source: AP, WSOC-TV]

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