A recent New York Times piece on SoCal's crazy gas prices noted that a Santa Monica station was charging $5.69 a gallon for premium. Wow.

That's enough to make you ride on fumes. And that, Southern California, is apparently what you are doing.

The Automobile Club of Southern California says that in recent months it has seen a near-13-percent increase in “roadside service calls” for drivers who have run out of fuel. Steve Mazor, Auto Club research guru:

Higher gas prices may be contributing to more people running out of gas because they are trying to stretch each tank further than normal. However, as painful as trips to the gas station may be getting, letting your car regularly run on an almost-empty tank can cause even more wallet damage with expensive repairs.

What's he mean by that?

Apparently driving on E all the time (not rolling on it, ravers) can “cause sediment in the bottom of the tank to clog the fuel pump” and injectors, according to an Auto Club statement.

The Auto Club reports that it makes about 15,600 trips to empty-tank drivers a month these days. AAA members get the service for free, but they have to pay for the gas.

The club says you should …

… not drive on less than a quarter tank. (Yeah, right. We're the world record holder of journeys by fume).

… Don't pump the accelerator when you've run out of gas.

… Move the f—- over to the shoulder or curb when you do run out of fuel. (They didn't quite put it that way, but we are).

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