(NewsNation) — It is not exactly what Jackson Browne had in mind when he sang his 1977 hit “Running on Empty,” but that’s just what more Americans are doing as historically high gas prices have many testing how low their fuel gauge will go.
“We’re getting a lot of people who are running out of gas,” Nevada Freeway Patrol technician Tim Stankovich told NewsNation affiliate KLAS. “Already had one this morning and I had three yesterday.”
The surging price of gas in the U.S. has some drivers waiting for as long as they can before refueling.
Foregoing the last offramp where a large, illuminated sign showcases a cringe-worthy price per gallon, drivers are, instead, attempting to ride out that last gasp of gas and risk running out somewhere down the line.
By 8 a.m. Tuesday, Stankovich he had already come across his second empty tank of the day.
The national average gas price was $4.16 a gallon for regular Wednesday, up from $2.87 a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association.
But for those playing limbo with “E,” the extra miles must be worth trying to make it as far as possible, wringing out whatever mileage remains in their tanks.
Construction worker George Chay put blame on a high gas bill for stalling his visit to the gas station.
“$160 a week,” he told KLAS after running out of gas.
Stankovich said running out of gas on a busy highway can be dangerous.
“They stall out in the middle of the freeway, it’s going to cause … traffic congestion,” he stated. “People are trying to make ends meet sometimes; gas is super expensive.”
Stankovich also said the best thing drivers can do is make sure they have enough gas before heading out.
The Nevada Freeway Service does not respond to calls and advised that the first thing to do if you need help on the road is to call Nevada State Police.
AAA will also come to your rescue, and you don’t even need to be a 70s rock star.
NewsNation affiliate KLAS contributed his report.