$4 per gallon does suck. Don't get me wrong, we're happy that high gas prices are forcing people to cut back on driving, ditch their SUVs and invest in renewable energy. That's the positive side of the coin. On the other side, people really are pinched and having a hard time coming up with the cash to fill their tanks up all the way. As a result, the streets are littered with cars as people are running out of gas more frequently.
From The Huffington Post:
Though national statistics on out-of-gas motorists don't exist, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that drivers unwilling or unable to fill 'er up are gambling by keeping their tanks extremely low on fuel.
In the Philadelphia area, where the average price for a gallon of regular broke $4 on Friday, calls from out-of-gas AAA members doubled between May 2007 and May 2008, from 81 to 161, the auto club reported.
"The number one reason is they can't stretch their money out from week to week," said Gary Siley, the AAA mobile technician who helped Saba.
"Some of them are embarrassed. ... They say, 'I was trying to make it till Friday,' and they couldn't do it," said Siley, who has assisted numerous out-of-gas motorists.
No doubt, putting $30 worth of gas into your car only to see it barely creep out of 'Low on Gas' is unpleasant, and it's a growing reality for many people in America. We've budgeted for driving personal vehicles to be fairly affordable, so now that it's getting out of reach, we're having a hard time adjusting.
It's time to start putting pressure on our local and state governments to get better public transit programs going. Even if you can afford gas easily, or don't personally deal with it because you don't drive often, helping out those people who are truly hurt by gas prices is a great cause. Another option is to offer to share gas expenses with friends and family by carpooling as often as possible - to work, to the grocery store, to the movies. As cheesy and cliched as it may sound, coming together can really help as all through the transition from the age of oil into an age of sustainable forms of energy.