Breakdown coverage firm Green Flag has revealed that as many as one-quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds are vapour trailers – a name for anyone driving with a near-empty tank of petrol.
The new research revealed the high proportion of drivers travelling with little or no fuel in a bid to cut back on the growing costs associated with running a car in the UK.
Petrol prices have risen by around 27 per cent since the financial crisis first began in 2008 and motorists are evidently feeling the pinch, with as many as 4.6 million, or 13 per cent of those surveyed, admitting to running the risk of driving without fuel.
Worse still, a further 1.4 million of those motorists questioned revealed they had suffered the indignity of completely running out of petrol while driving.
The research estimates that British drivers spend an average of £20.44 a week on fuel, which equates to £1,062.89 a year. Young drivers aged 18 to 34 were the worst culprits for running on empty in the survey, with around one in four confessing to the practice.
Green Flag spokeswoman Miranda Schunke expressed her concern at the findings, warning that vapour trailers posed "a serious threat to themselves and other motorists".
"Running out of fuel on a busy road increases the risk of being hit by other motorists and those who have run dry awaiting assistance by the side of the road are also leaving themselves unnecessarily vulnerable," she added.
Ms Schunke called on motorists to take more care in managing their petrol use.
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