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Motorists ‘running on empty’ as fuel prices soar

Published 16/02/2011 | 09:40

Breakdown service Green Flag reported a 40pc increase in its number of fuel-related call-outs. Photo: Thinkstockphotos.com
Breakdown service Green Flag reported a 40pc increase in its number of fuel-related call-outs. Photo: Thinkstockphotos.com

IT IS a sign of the times we live in – an increasing number of drivers are "running on empty" due to high petrol and diesel costs.

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Breakdown service Green Flag reported a 40pc increase in its number of fuel-related call-outs in the second half of January, compared with the same period the previous month.

A survey by the company showed that 48pc of drivers had been dangerously close to empty or broke down before reaching the pumps at some point in their lifetime. More than one-third of these incidents occurred in the past three months during a period when the price of petrol at the pumps has reached record levels.

The poll also showed more than 30pc of drivers had cut down on their motoring to offset rising fuel prices. But only 4pc had taken up car-sharing and only 6pc had bought a more fuel-efficient car.

Of the 2,110 adults surveyed, those from the North had the most fuel-related breakdowns, while younger drivers (aged 18- 34) were the ones most likely to run out of petrol.

Dan Robinson, head of Green Flag, said: “There is no hiding from the fact the constant rises in fuel are affecting drivers.

“We encourage motorists to become more vigilant about filling up to ensure they are not left stranded. It's as simple as keeping an eye on your fuel gauge before setting off, no matter if it's a short trip or a long journey.”

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