- Increasing number of motorists breaking down as a result of running out of fuel
- Many motorists overestimate how much fuel they have left in their tank when their fuel light comes on
- Traffic jams and heavy rain cause motorists more concern than their fuel light coming on
- Motorists risk damage to car engine or potential fines by running out of fuel
- More Brits are breaking down as a result of running out of fuel.
New research has revealed that a rising numbers of Brits are risking breakdown by continuing to drive long after their fuel light comes on – with 827,000 motorists having to be rescued from the roadside for this reason last year alone. This figure is 50,000 higher than the year prior (777,000 in 2013).
This is supported by claims data from insurance company LV=, which shows that the number of motorists breaking down as a result of running out of fuel has risen year on year since 2011, as drivers ‘gamble’ on covering extra miles after the fuel light has come on.
Almost a million motorists admit that they tend to either ignore the fuel light or don’t notice it is on – and most say they are more concerned with traffic jams, heavy rain or getting lost, than they are running of out fuel.
Although many motorists do notice the warning light, a significant proportion overestimate how much fuel they have left in the tank, with one in four (24%) believing they can drive for more than 40 miles after the light has illuminated. The truth is if they were driving half of the UK’s most common car models, they would break down. Furthermore, men are much more likely to overestimate how far they can travel compared to women.
More than two million motorists admit they drive with their warning light on nearly constantly, and a minority try to avoid paying for fuel in the hope that a family member will pick up the tab.
Apart from the obvious inconvenience for the motorist and other road users in the event of a breakdown, the driver can also be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) in some locations, if the incident was foreseeable – for example, running out of petrol, brake fluid, oil etc.