Over the weekend I saw a disabled car on the side of the road. I passed the same car about a half hour later and saw a roadside service vehicle pouring gasoline into the tank.

Last summer there was a flood of calls to agencies like AAA due to cars running out of gas as gasoline prices hit record highs. Prices are still high but almost a dollar lower on average than last summer.

Last summer's average nationwide was around $5 a gallon. This summer should be somewhere in the low to mid $3 dollar range.  It's still more than some people can afford to drive other than for essential travel, like going to work.

My observation in the last week is anywhere from $3.20 to $3.70 depending on where you are in New Jersey. The NJ Turnpike Authority says it's at an average of about $3.60 right now.

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The problem with some people running out of gas is we sometimes play a numbers game with our tanks and our GPS.

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Monday morning my odometer said I had 33 miles to go before I reached work. My GPS said that I have 28 miles to work. I was running a little late, so the question was do I risk it and make it to work with a few miles to spare or stop and get gas before I get onto the interstate?

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There is a gas station less than a mile from the radio station, so I could make it there after work. However, I decided to stop for gas before I got to work and made it with time to spare.

Some of our callers in the past have said car manufacturers build in about 10 extra miles than what is projected on your dashboard. According to a AAA consumer survey, 74 percent of drivers use their miles-to-empty display in determining when to fill up with gas. Another 62 percent believe the fuel economy estimates provided by in-vehicle systems are accurate.

A 2019 AAA survey indicated that they service 488,000 calls that year. It's up to you to decide if you want to take that chance. We never used to have the luxury of this information with the dashboard indicator and GPS. Sometimes too much information is not a good thing, I guess.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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