Rising Gas Prices Fueling Stranded Motorist Trend
Consumers putting less fuel in their tanks, coming up empty on the road
According to Allstate Motor Club, calls from motorists looking for roadside assistance because they've run out of gas are up by 52 percent nationwide for the first five months of 2008 over the same time period in 2007.
"Allstate Motor Club has seen a significant rise in the number of customers who find themselves stranded without gas," said Allstate Motor Club President Jim Ejupi. "Our customers are protecting themselves from the costs of having to pay more for auto services by having roadside assistance, but these customers are also trying to protect their pocketbooks from the rising fuel costs. One way they are doing that is by keeping their gas tanks lower on fuel."
And by driving those extra miles without filling up, motorists are stretching their budgets and increasing their risks of becoming stranded.
As more Americans try to accommodate for the rising cost of driving on the road, Allstate reminds consumers that adequate insurance, roadside protection and proper vehicle maintenance are ways to keep overall driving costs down.
"Even worse than using up gas is the dreaded feeling you get if you're stuck miles from any gas station on an unfamiliar road," Ejupi said. "Allstate Motor Club not only helps protect customers from the costs of unexpected interruptions like running out of gas, but we also help give motorists and their families peace of mind on the road."
As gas prices are expected to continue to rise in the coming months, 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 mph that a person drives over 60 mph 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.
- Use your engine wisely.
- 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.
- Be smart about driving.
- 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.
For additional information about Allstate Motor Club, please contact a local Allstate agent, call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-998-8697 or visit www.allstatemotorclub.com.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,900 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through Allstate agencies, or in select states at allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. Encompass® and Deerbrook® Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers.