Drivers Warned Of ‘Risky’ Fuel Mistake That Could Damage Vehicles

Credits: engin akyurt/ Unsplash
  • According to Green Flag’s study 51% of the red line runners are under the age of 35.
  • Driving a car with low levels of petrol or diesel can cause damage to the vehicle because debris in the fuel tank can clog the fuel pump or filter.
  • These refueling habits are a part of a large behavioral shift, with seven out of ten motorists altering their driving habits as a result of rising living costs.

Drivers are urged not to let their gasoline and diesel tanks run dry, or they risk breaking down and causing massive engine damage.

Red line runners

Over 12 million “red line runners” in the United Kingdom let their fuel tanks get as close to empty as possible before filling up. 

It is estimated that nearly a third of drivers will do so as a result of the current cost of living crisis.

Despite the RAC’s prediction that petrol and diesel prices will fall in the coming days, both remain high.

According to a study conducted by breakdown specialists Green Flag, young drivers are the most likely to risk running out of gas, with half (51%) of “red line runners” being under the age of 35.

Risks involved

Experts have also warned drivers to be cautious, as running fuel gauges down can be a “risky business.”

Nearly one-third of all drivers (28 percent), or 11 million people, admit to having run out of gas before, with the figure rising to more than half (55 percent) of those aged 18 to 34.

Driving a car with low levels of petrol or diesel can cause damage to the vehicle because debris in the fuel tank can clog the fuel pump or filter.

There is also the risk of losing power unexpectedly on a busy road or being stranded in a remote location, which could endanger the driver, vehicle occupants, and other road users.

To avoid paying for a full tank at once, a quarter is more likely to fill up “partially” at the gas station.

Behavioral shifts

These changes in refueling habits are part of a larger behavioral shift, as seven out of ten motorists have altered their driving habits as a result of rising living costs.

Young drivers have been hit the hardest, with 84% changing their driving habits.

According to Katie Lomas, Head of Green Flag Breakdown, “running out of fuel can be both costly and dangerous.”

“However, our research shows that millions are taking the risk, which may be due to drivers overestimating how far their car can travel when its tank is nearly empty.”

Financial pressure

“While drivers are under more financial pressure than ever, not putting fuel in a car could be a false economy, as constantly running a tank low can cause mechanical problems, not to mention the inconvenience of breaking down.”

“We know that many breakdowns are avoidable if proper care is taken before and during a trip, so keep enough fuel in the tank to complete your journey safely.”

Reduced leisure driving

Because of the high cost of living and fuel prices, an estimated 14.3 million people have reduced their leisure driving, with one in every five British motorists changing their driving habits and style to help conserve fuel.

In comparison to January, the average motorist now drives 23 fewer miles per month.

During the same period, the average cost of filling a fuel tank has risen by nearly £10, from £65.27 to £74.90, so reducing these 23 miles per month could save motorists £8.5 billion.

This also saves nearly 9,500 grams of CO2 per month, for a total savings of 370,000 tonnes of CO2 for the entire UK.

Highway tips

Green Flag advises motorists to follow some simple tips if they are conserving fuel and run out on the highway.

They should pull to the left as soon as there’s a hint of traffic, pulling over to the hard shoulder and using it to slow down, hazard lights flashing.

Motorists should seek out an emergency phone, which can be found at one-mile intervals and will connect them directly to the police, who will know their exact location.

Green Flag also advises drivers not to attempt to repair the problem themselves.

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Source: Express



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