CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)–More drivers are running out of gas on the road as they try to avoid paying higher fuel prices.
AAA reports Virginia’s average gas price is $4.86 per gallon. On January 1, it was $3.15.
The agency said drivers that put $10 of gas in their tanks six months ago, would have gotten over three gallons at the pump. That same $10 today would get them just over two gallons in their tank.
Doglas Leocadio, who filled up at a Chesterfield County gas station Monday afternoon, only spent a few dollars at the pump.
“I just put a little bit here because my gas was really low and my car was like gasping,” he said. “I was trying to go to other gas stations that have a better deal.”
AAA said when drivers put off filling up their tank, it runs the risk of costing them more down the road. From April through June 7 of this year, 1,168 Virginia drivers ran out of gas and requested fuel deliveries.
That number is slightly up from last year when AAA ran 1,166 fuel delivery calls for members—and it’s 10% higher than the number of calls they received in 2019 during the same period.
Geico told 8News Monday that the company receives at least five out-of-gas calls per day across the United States since prices have been going up.
Some of their customers may not know that certain policyholders are able to get up to $5 worth of fuel or a tow to the nearest gas station.
Geico added they have an average response time of one hour, and if a driver is stranded in an unsafe place, the company encourages them to call law enforcement for assistance.
Morgan Dean, AAA Mid-Atlantic Manager of Public and Government Affairs, added that running out of gas could be dangerous and costly.
“Running out of gas isn’t just an inconvenience. It can also be potentially dangerous and costly, especially if the car runs out of gas in the middle of a busy highway,” he said. “Running out of gas can also do damage to the vehicle’s fuel system that could cost hundreds of dollars to repair.”
Dean added that repairs to a car’s fuel system will cost hundreds of dollars. To avoid running out of gas, AAA said drivers should fill up the tank when the fuel gauge hits 1/4 of a tank.
Leocadio said he’s finding other ways to save on his gas instead of running low. “I’m trying to not carry a lot of weight on my van. I’m trying to drive as less as possible and use Groupon,” he said.
He added the gas prices don’t look like they’ll go down anytime soon.
“Expecting the price to go down? I think it’s a utopia,” he said.