Is It True You Shouldn’t Use Your Phone While Pumping Gas?

A woman pumps gas while looking at her cellphone.

When it comes to pumping gas, most of us are fixated on the steadily increasing cost on the screen as we pump. To take your mind off that, you might have scrolled through your phone at the gas pump. But is that dangerous?

If you’ve ever heard that you shouldn’t be on your phone while pumping gas, you might be surprised to learn this bit of advice is legitimate but there is something surprising about it.

Ultimately, should you be on your cell phone while pumping gas? According to Michael Marando, staff liaison for the National Fire Protection Association, who spoke with USA Today, it’s probably not the best choice. This old bit of advice is true, but surprisingly, he did explain that the risks are exceedingly low—far lower than what you might have thought before.

Marando told USA Today the warning comes from the idea that a cellphone could have enough energy to create a spark, and if mixed with gasoline, a fire could start. That being said, however, multiple agencies and even the cast of the beloved series Myth Busters have put this theory to the test. The result? Nothing, no explosions or fires have been started under experimental conditions.

That doesn’t mean you should start chatting away while pumping gas, though. Just because the risk hasn’t been recreated doesn’t mean it’s not there. If it’s between two minutes without your cell phone or a gas fire, you should probably just leave your cell in the car.

When it comes to automotive myths, this one does stand up (kind of). But what about cruise control saving you gas? Find out here.

Leave a Reply