Week 21: Drive Sensibly
With the price of gas at all-time highs saving on traveling by car can be a huge money saver.
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and rapid braking) wastes gas. Aggressive driving habits can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. This means aggressive driving is like adding 33% more per gallon when purchasing gasoline or diesel fuel. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than money.
Observe the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas. Of course, we all know observing the speed limit is also safer reducing the chance of accidents which cause thousands of dollars damage.
Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Avoid idling. Idling advances you 0 miles but burns a ¼ of a gallon of gas per hour. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. Braking and then speeding up and then passing another car and repeating the patterns uses more gas than a constant speed.