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300% increase in roadside rescue calls for drivers running out of gas, AAA says

AAA says it is prioritizing calls for members who are stranded on major roadways due to safety concerns.

WASHINGTON — Roadside rescue calls from motorists who have run out of gas in the D.C. region have skyrocketed, according to the AAA Mid-Atlantic. 

On Thursday, AAA Crews responded to at least 289 “out of gas” rescue calls in the District, Virginia and Maryland combined, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Jon Townsend said, compared to 48 such calls Monday. 

“The number of calls for people who have run out of gas to AAA has jumped, 200%, and in some cases 300% -- especially on Thursday -- compared to a week ago," Townsend said.

AAA says it is prioritizing calls for members who are stranded on major roadways like I-95 and the Capital Beltway because of the danger of motorists standing outside their cars or walking on the shoulders, Townsend said.

RELATED: Police: Maryland woman killed after struck by tractor-trailer following crash on I-95 in Laurel

Townsend said weekend travelers headed south into Virginia and the Carolinas are most likely to encounter difficulty finding fuel on demand. As of noon Friday, 45% of Virginia gas stations, 65% of North Carolina stations and 48% of South Carolina gas stations said they were out of gas, according to GasBuddy

AAA is advising members to prepare themselves by downloading gas-finder mobile apps, such as GasBuddy, and pre-planning where they may be able to find fuel.

RELATED: GasBuddy: 87% of DC gas stations are out of gas

Motorists headed to Delmarva beach resorts and toward Philadelphia and New York are likely to have less trouble, according to GasBuddy’s app. GasBuddy reports numerous gas stations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delaware are stocked with gas, although prices have risen.

Townsend and fire authorities are warning motorists not to carry extra gasoline inside the cabin of vehicles.

“You are putting yourself in great danger," Townsend said. "Literally, you have a can of explosives in the back of your car."

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