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Georgia out-of-gas emergency calls jump

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POSTED: August 9, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The number of Georgians running out of gas on the highway skyrocketed 51 percent in the first five months of 2008 compared with the same time last year, according to the Allstate Motor Club. From January through May of 2008, Georgians called the motor club for fuel delivery 298 times.
Countrywide, calls to Allstate Motor Club for running out of gas are up by 52 percent for the first months of 2008 over the same time last year.
"We can't directly correlate this rise in the number of people running out of gas to the rise in prices at the pump, but anecdotally we know that consumers are trying hard to stretch their dollar and sometimes that means stretching fuel into fumes," said Allstate spokesman John Heid. "Drivers should remember running out of gas on the highway can be a lot more than an inconvenience - it can be hazardous."
Heid says the average wait time for a can of gas is half an hour, but more troublesome than the hassle is the danger of being stuck on the road. According to the roadside assistance experts at Allstate Motor Club, running out of gas increases the risk of much more serious accidents for the driver with the empty tank and other motorists that suddenly have to maneuver around the mistake.

Stay safe
If you find yourself out of gas, Allstate Motor Club recommends remembering your own safety first.
• If you feel your car running out of gas, get off the road. Pulling your car to the curb will help keep you, your passengers and your vehicle from becoming traffic hazards and help keep you safe.
• If you run out of gas in traffic, stay in your vehicle until you are absolutely certain it is safe to get out of the vehicle. Push your vehicle to the side of the road only after you are clear of other cars and you are sure it is safe.
• Call for help after you and your passengers are in a secure location. If you do not have a motor club membership, many states and municipalities have emergency roadside assistance services that may help get you and your car out of harm's way.

Conserve safe

The best advice is to conserve gas without running to empty. Allstate Motor Club and the U.S. Department of Energy offer the following tips to help consumers improve fuel efficiency, and cut costs:
• Slow down. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas.
• For every 5 miles per hour that a person drives over 60 miles per hour is like paying an additional $0.15 per gallon for gas.
• Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
• Keep your car maintained and running smoothly with regular tune-ups and upkeep.
• Checking and replacing air filters can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, and will help protect your engine.
• Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent.
• You can also improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil.
• Using cruise control on the highway will help you maintain a constant speed.
• Using overdrive gearing helps keep your car's engine speed down, saving gas and reducing engine wear.
• Run errands together, rather than taking separate trips.
• Take advantage of carpools, mass transit and telecommuting options.
• If you can, stagger your work commute to avoid peak rush hours.
• Keep your car light. Too often cars become long-term storage facilities. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones.
• An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2 percent.
• Make smart vehicle choices.
• If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage whenever possible.
• Also, consider purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle.

 

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