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What to Do if Your Car Runs Out of Gas

Picture this: you’re driving home from work or school when your vehicle suddenly starts sputtering. After a few quick jerks, pressing on the gas pedal does nothing. It’s only then when you look at your dashboard and notice that bright red gas icon flashing and the needle firmly on the “E” section of your gas meter. You’ve run out of gas, and now you’re stranded.

While it’s never a good idea to get on the road with less than a quarter of a tank of gas in your car, accidents happen. Knowing what to do in the event that you run out of gas can help you avoid the need for collision repair in Bensalem, PA, and can even help extend the life of your vehicle. If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of running out of gas, don’t panic; follow these steps instead.

Move Your Car Off to a Safe Area

As soon as you feel your vehicle start sputtering or jerking erratically, you should focus on coasting to a safe area immediately, such as a shoulder or parking space. Do not park your vehicle on any road, as this can eventually leave you with a bill for medical services or collision repair in Levittown, PA in the event that an unsuspecting driver hits your car.

Park and Secure Your Vehicle

Park your vehicle in a safe space and turn on your emergency brake. Turn your hazard lights on, even if you are in an abandoned area.

Confirm Your Current Location

One of the most important details you need to know when your car runs out of gas is where you are exactly. Knowing your precise location doesn’t only help when you call for assistance—it can also ensure that your vehicle isn’t parked in an area where you’re likely to be hurt or injured.

If your cell phone’s navigation system is working, open up your GPS and note the highway or road that you’re on and the direction that you’re traveling, as well as some landmarks near you. If possible, you should also pull your GPS coordinates from your device — this will make the towing or rescue crew’s job significantly less difficult. 

If your cell phone does not offer GPS functionality or you’re stranded in an area without cell phone reception, flag down another driver to ask for assistance.

Call For a Gas Delivery

If you have AAA or another roadside assistance program, call and tell them that your vehicle has run out of gas. If you don’t have roadside assistance, call a friend or family member and ask them to bring you a small amount of gas in an approved container. If you are not located in a remote area and have a fuel-safe container in your vehicle, you may want to walk to a nearby gas station. However, make sure to use a map or direction app on your phone to make sure that the gas station isn’t too far of a walk.

Call 311 If Necessary

If you are in a remote area and you can’t get a gas delivery, call 311. 311 is the non-emergency police line; officers will assist you in getting you and your car towed to a safe location.

Take Steps to Avoid a Similar Situation in the Future

Running out of gas while you’re driving isn’t just annoying—it can also quickly put you into a dangerous situation. If you aren’t able to pull into a safe location, you run the risk of being hit by another car, which can cause serious injury and damage to your vehicle. Running out of gas is also terrible for your vehicle. Regularly allowing your vehicle to run out of gas is irresponsible and will put immense strain on your car or truck.

While accidents can happen to anyone, you should take steps to avoid putting yourself into a similar situation in the future. Remember to always get gas before you take a long trip and keep track of your gas level as you travel. If your gas ever dips below a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to fill up.

If you’ve recently been involved in an accident, your vehicle may not be safe to drive. Contact Peruzzi Collision Center to schedule an appointment to get back on the road in a vehicle that’s up-to-code.

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