- 12:19 ET, Mar 27 2022
- Updated: 13:48 ET, Mar 27 2022
DISPATCHERS are dealing with 20 per cent more breakdowns in some areas as a result of soaring gas prices, the AAA says.
The motor association says more drivers are calling out for road assistance because they are putting off filling up their tank.
At present, the average gas price in the USA is $4.244 – up from $3.604 a month ago.
Kara Hitchens, spokesperson for AAA, doesn’t believe that it’s a coincidence that more drivers are seeking to eek out as much petrol as possible.
“Gas prices have gone up, people are making those hard decisions,” she said
“While we can’t make a direct line between gas prices and the number of calls, there’s that thought. That’s 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’ve taken 375 calls for fuel compared to 313 calls in March 2021 – a rise of nearly 20 per cent.
And experts such as Hitchens aren’t surprised that people are taking risks with their gas usage when prices are so high.
She added: “Those people are kind of pushing their luck and waiting until probably the last minute to get gas.”
The rapidly rising gas prices over the last month can be attributed to two factors: inflation, and the Russia-Ukraine war.
But despite the rise in cost, 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 should not rely too heavily on fuel sensors – adding that driving slower can also save fuel consumption.
“We do warn people it’s not a good idea to run out of gas, to wait that long,” she said.
“We did do a study last year about the accuracy of those fuel sensors in the car.
“A lot of it depends on a person’s driving habits — how fast they drive, how many times they go in and out of fuel efficiency as far as how accurate these fuel sensors are.”
To keep your gas bills under control, motorists should ensure that their tires are properly inflated, driving smoothly on roads, and cutting back on mileage.
You can also manage costs by avoiding sitting stationary in the park with the car running and watching your speed.
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