You’re driving on the highway, and all of a sudden you realize that you’ve run out of gas. What should you do? This can be a scary situation, but don’t worry – we’re here to help!
In this article, we will discuss who to call if you ever find yourself in this situation. Stay calm and follow these steps, and you’ll be back on the road in no time!
Get to the Side of the Road First
Running out of gas can be stressful for a lot of people. One minute you’re heading down the road toward your destination (or maybe toward a gas station), and then the next minute your gas pedal stops working and you slow down to a grinding halt.
It may be tempting to break out your phone to call for help as soon as this happens, but no matter who you call, they will probably tell you to get yourself over to the side of the road first.
Start by turning on your hazard lights – these work even if your car is out of gas, and they will alert other drivers to steer clear. Even if it’s daytime you should still turn them on. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Next, slowly and carefully guide your car over to the shoulder of the road. As harsh as it sounds, you may have to get out and push while guiding the steering wheel. Just leave it in neutral and it won’t be too difficult to manage.
If you’re on the highway, try to get as far away from traffic as possible. Once you’ve pulled over, turn off your engine. At this point you can finally break out your phone and call for help.
Figure Out Exactly Where You Are
You won’t be much use in guiding anyone to your location if you don’t know where you are, so make sure to figure this out first if you’re not sure.
You can use a GPS app on your phone, mile markers on the highway, or look for landmarks to establish your whereabouts so you can explain it to whoever you end up speaking with on the phone.
Who to Call if You Run Out of Gas
There are a few different people and services you can call when you run out of gas, so don’t panic – you have plenty of options for getting out of this mess.
Call Roadside Service or Assistance
If you have a roadside assistance plan, give them a call! This is probably the easiest and fastest way to get help, since they will come directly to you.
Just give them your location and wait for them to arrive. Whether it’s AAA, Aceable, or your car insurance company, start by giving them a call to ask for help.
Of all of the options available to you, this one may be the most unconventional, but it’s definitely the most convenient. It’s actually something the company encourages. So get out your phone and let Uber take you to the nearest gas station and back.
Those drivers’ days can become pretty monotonous, so they’ll be happy to give you an unconventional lift!
Call a Friend or Family Member
Do you have a friend or family member who lives close by? If so, give them a call and see if they’re able to bring you some gas.
This is probably the least expensive option, since you won’t have to pay for any service fees. Just make sure to reimburse your loved one for their time and effort!
Call a Towing Service
If you don’t have roadside assistance and nobody close by is available to help, your next best bet is to call a tow truck. They will be able to tow you to the nearest gas station so you can fill up your tank. This option will probably be the most expensive, as most towing companies can charge between $50 to $125 for just a few miles of towing, but it’s better than being stranded on the side of the road indefinitely.
Check with your insurance company before calling a tow truck. Many insurance policies cover towing, or a portion of it at least, so be sure to check to make sure you don’t lose out on a deal you’re already paying for with insurance!
This shouldn’t be one of your first options, as you being stranded on the road for neglecting to fill up your gas tank doesn’t exactly warrant a public emergency response, but if you have no other options, go ahead and call 911 for help.
This can be helpful especially for those in unfamiliar or new areas, who don’t know where they are or where the next gas station is. Luckily, 911 works even if you don’t have cell phone service. Give them a call and they may be able to send someone to bring you some gas – you might just have to wait a while.
If You Can’t Reach Anyone on the Phone…
If you find yourself in an area with no cell phone service, or are having trouble getting ahold of anyone by phone, there are still some things you can do.
Look for a Gas Station
If you’re lucky, there might be a gas station close by that you can walk to. If you’re on the highway, make sure you walk on the same side of the road you left your car on, and that you only walk in the direction from which you came (if you’re in an unfamiliar area). Don’t forget your wallet and phone!
Wave Down Another Driver
People are generally pretty willing to help out when they see somebody stranded on the side of the road, so it never hurts to wait around and see if anyone stops to help. Just make sure to stay in your car until someone comes over – it’s not worth risking your safety by walking out into traffic.
These are some of your best options for what to do if you ever run out of gas. Just remember to stay calm, and don’t forget to ask for help if you need it. With a little bit of planning ahead, you can avoid this situation entirely.
Be sure to keep your tank at least half-full, and always know where the nearest gas station is so you can be prepared in case of an emergency.
See also: Why Is My Car Burning So Much Gas?