Americans are adopting a host of measures in response to soaring petrol prices including driving more slowly to conserve fuel, going out of their way to find cheaper prices and even driving off from pumps without paying.
As petrol yesterday climbed to a new national record of nearly $3.65 a gallon (40p a litre) – with the price topping $4 in many places – drivers are trying to cut back on car use and swap once ubiquitous gas-guzzlers for more fuel efficient cars.
There has also been a surge in “drive-offs” across the country, where motorists leave petrol stations without paying.
In one Seattle case, a thief was caught on CCTV using a master key to unlock a station’s pumps after dark to fill up several barrels, CNN reported.
Elsewhere, motorists have been waking to find the petrol siphoned from their cars.