Drivers Look to Cut Corners as Gas Prices Rise

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With gas prices in the U.S now averaging $3.84 a gallon, many Americans are finding it financially painful to fill up at the pump.

One customer even found the price of gas rising while he was filling up his tank.  The service station had forgotten to turn off the pump before changing the price.

"It went from $3.85 to $3.91 right in front of my eyes," motorist Robert Levulis reported.
    
In six states, gas prices now average above $4.00 a gallon.  Both California and Hawaii have reported $5.00 a gallon gas in some cities.

Consequently, many consumers are literally taking to the streets in search of the cheapest price.  For some drivers in Chicago, that means crossing state lines into Indiana.

"It can be the difference between $50 or $60 versus $80 to fill up in Chicago," one motorist said.

In California, drivers are crossing the border into Mexico in search of a discount.

However, there are risks to driving such long distances.  According to American Automobile Association, an increasing number of drivers have been running out of gas on the way to the pump.  In Los Angeles, the number of stranded motorists has jumped 13 percent.
    
Sean Dozier recently had to call an AAA tow truck when he ran out of gas while on a trip to refill his tank. 

"It's taking a toll on my funds right now, taking almost $200 to fill up," he said. "I am not a six-figure person."

"We try to calm them down and let them know that we know it's tough times and everybody runs out of gas now-a-days," AAA tow truck driver Tim Olmeda said.
    
Meanwhile, experts are warning drivers against driving while their gas tank is low. Waiting until the last minute can ruin your fuel pump - and wipe out any plans for saving a little extra in these tough economic times.

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