Driving around the A-T-L, every now and then, I’ll see a car on the side of the road, obvious victims of running out of fuel. Sometimes, there will be a person in the act of pouring fuel into the gas tank, and other times, off in the distance, I’ll see someone walking to, or walking away from the vehicle; sometimes with a red gas tank, sometimes without, and they’ll have to pick one up.
Now if I lived out in Nebraska, or even a place like Kingdom City, Missouri, where the population is sparse, and the volume of gas stations are far more sparse than in a city like Atlanta, I could understand the occasional brain-fart in poor preparation, and once in a blue moon, running out of gas. But in a large metropolitan area like the city of Atlanta? How is that even possible? There are thousands of gas stations in Atlanta, so I’m pretty much baffled at how negligent people can possibly to where they end up stranded on the side of I-75 so frequently.
Naturally, the first culprit is sheer negligence; even my parents’ old 1978 Toyota Celica had a fuel light that engaged once the tank was down to two gallons, much like every single car on the planet does to this day. Maybe people are taking their EPA-estimated superior gas mileage vehicles for granted these days, or maybe they’re simply just not looking at the dashboard to notice an innocuous yellow light, sometimes even in the silhouette of a gas can. My whole life, even before I was driving myself, I’ve always been astute to the fuel gauge of my own cars, or the cars that I’ve ridden in. Considering it’s one of the few pre-requisites an automobile needs to function, I think it’s sort of important to practice such measures.
Next on the possibilities list, is simply price. We all know gas is shit-expensive nowadays, so I understand the trepidation in having to put gas in the car. But I do it anyways, because cars simply do not run if they have no gas. So to these people I see on the side of the road who are out of gas, I have to first ask, why even drive in the first place? If fuel consumption is a concern anyway, wouldn’t it be better off if the travel were limited, or eliminated in the first place? Furthermore, ignoring to fill up the tank with hopes that milking it is a superior option, and then sputtering to a stop on the shoulder of the highway, puts you in an even worse situation in the first place. Not only do you now have to buy gas anyway, you have to walk god knows what distance to the nearest gas station to acquire it, and then walk back to put it into your vehicle. Add more money if you don’t happen to have on you or even own a gas container in the first place. It’s simply not worth it, to avoid something that will inevitably have to be done at some point anyway.
I don’t know why, it just amazes me that people are that lazy, negligent, stupid or all of the above to let something so easily to avoid, like fuel management, happen on such a regular basis. At least once a week, I’ll see some sap on the side of the highway, and I simply can’t feel sorry for them, because mostly it’s their own detrimental faults that put them in such embarrassing scenarios in the first place.