Running out of gas is no fun, particularly if you are in an area in which
getting your vehicle fueled could be difficult. Should your vehicle run
out of gas, you put yourself and your passengers at risk of an auto accident,
particularly if it occurs on a roadway with fast-moving vehicles. Most
importantly, if you are low on gas and there is no nearby gas station
where you can refill, pull over to a safe spot by the side of the road,
or exit the highway rather than continuing in the hopes that you will
find one. Running out of gas in lanes of traffic puts everyone at risk,
especially you and your passengers. Your vehicle will lose its power steering,
and your car will become very difficult to control. Without power assistance
with braking, the process of turning or braking takes a much greater effort.
Tips on What to Do If You Run Out of Gas:
- Pull over to the side of the road, or off the highway. Get as far from
lanes of traffic as you can.
- Turn on your hazard lights at once.
- Do not step out of your vehicle without first carefully checking for oncoming vehicles.
- Call a friend or family member who could help you.
- If you have a roadside assistance program, call the number on your card
and get assistance.
- Use a smart phone to find the nearest gas station, or call 411 for information.
If it is in walking distance and it is safe to walk, do so. Never leave
the passengers, particularly children, alone in the car. The gas station
can deliver gas to you in many cases, and although it will cost you, it
is far safer.
- If you are in a remote area, with no signal, call 911. Your phone will
function for emergency calls, even if it appears there is no service.
- Rather than walking in rainy, snowy or icy weather, remain in your vehicle
with your hazard lights on. Walking in these conditions is dangerous.
- Be careful in accepting rides from strangers. If you feel uncertain about
someone who offers help, say that help is already on its way.
- If your car has sputtered and come to a stop, you need to move it off the
roadway, but safely. Put the vehicle in neutral, and slowly push it to
the side of the road. Walk beside the driver's side, with your hand
on the steering wheel to guide it to the side of the road. If you are
on a hill, this could be dangerous, and is not advised.
- Be careful with your cellphone charge. While you are waiting, or searching
for information to help you, you can use up a lot of your cellphone's
charge. Set your alerts to ringer rather than vibrate, as it uses less
battery. Don't make calls you don't need to, and use your phone
as little as possible.
- If you are in an urban area, simply ask a passerby for directions to the
nearest gas station. If you are in a remote area, you need to find out
where you are. Use a map, road signs or your cellphone to determine exactly
where you are, and call to get help from a station that is close to your location.
How to Avoid Running Out Of Gas
There are few more annoying - and dangerous - driving situations than running
out of gas. There are certain steps you can take to avoid this happening
to you, including:
- Always refill at a quarter tank.
- Don't trust your gas gauge. If you are in hilly areas, or are running
air conditioning, your gas will be used up far more quickly. Stop and
fill up if you are getting low.
- If you are planning a long road trip in a remote area, get a government
approved gas container, fill it, and keep it in your trunk. Ensure it
is properly closed and clean before placing it in your vehicle; gas fumes
- Don't put off filling up your car. It is inconvenient, but the alternative
is much worse.
- If you need gas, don't try to get to a cheaper station. Bite the bullet
and fill up, because in the end you will only be paying a few cents more
and you avoid the risk of running out of gas.
- If you are forgetful about filling up, set an alert on your phone to remind you.