Gas price hikes cause 20% more breakdowns while drivers wait to fill up
DISPATCHERS face 20% more outages in some areas due to soaring gas prices, according to the AAA.
The auto association says more and more drivers are calling for roadside assistance because they’re delaying filling their fuel tank.
Right now, the average gasoline price in the United States is $4,244, down from $3,604 a month ago.
Kara Hitchens, spokesperson for AAA, doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that more drivers are looking to get the most gas possible.
“Gasoline prices have gone up, people are making these tough decisions,” she said.
“While we can’t make a direct link between gas prices and the number of calls, there is that thought. This is probably the general reason why.
To punctuate the point, WCPO obtained figures from AAA dispatchers covering the Cincinnati, Toledo and Dayton areas.
So far this month, they have taken 375 fuel calls compared to 313 calls in March 2021, an increase of almost 20%.
And experts like Hitchens aren’t surprised people are taking risks with their gas consumption when prices are so high.
She added: “These people are kind of pushing their luck and probably waiting until the last minute to get gas.”
The rapid rise in gasoline prices over the past month can be attributed to two factors: inflation and the Russian-Ukrainian war.
But despite the rising costs, there are things you can do to make sure you don’t get stuck on the road.
AAA recommends keeping your tank at least half full and taking advantage of gas reward programs.
Hitchens also said drivers shouldn’t rely too heavily on fuel sensors, adding that driving slower can also reduce fuel consumption.
“We warn people that it’s not a good idea to run out of gas, to wait that long,” she said.
“We did a study last year on the accuracy of these fuel sensors in the car.
“A lot of it depends on a person’s driving habits – how fast they drive, how often they go in and out, and fuel efficiency in terms of how accurate those fuel sensors are.”
To keep your gas bills under control, motorists need to make sure their tires are properly inflated, that they drive smoothly on the roads, and that they reduce their mileage.
You can also manage costs by avoiding sitting in the park with the car running and by watching your speed.
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