Sunday, June 29, 2008

Driving Like It's 1975

When I'm out driving my car around town, I've noticed that most drivers around me drive as if gas is still fifty cents a gallon. Either unaware that gas is now four dollars a gallon or simply not caring, I see other drivers making little or no effort to drive in ways that would make the most of their gas mileage.

Most people drive as if the speed limit is merely a suggestion, and a bad one at that. Their egos compel them to drive as fast as they can possibly get away with at all times, even when they're not in a particular hurry or running late to get somewhere.

They hurry up to red lights, then jam on their brakes at the last possible moment. When the light turns green, they jam the pedal to the floor with jackrabbit starts. They weave in and out of traffic so they can get to their destination 30 seconds faster. It's important to hurry, you know! Even when you've got no particular place to go and no particular time to be there.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend any more money at the gas station than I absolutely have to. I've got other things to spend money on than gas. I like taking my car onto the highway and driving fast, just like the next guy, but at four dollars a gallon, it won't hurt my ego any to drive the speed limit in around-town driving.

Of course, I get laid regularly, so my ego doesn't need propping up by trying to turn quiet residential streets into Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
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10 Gas Saving Tips


1. Don’t speed.

Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will increase your fuel economy by about 10 percent.

2. Avoid "jack rabbit" starts.

Flooring the gas pedal wastes gas and leads to drastically higher pollution rates.

3. Anticipate stops. (Don't hurry up to red lights)

Think ahead to anticipate stops so your vehicle can coast down. Accelerating hard and braking hard wastes gas, increases pollution, and wears out your brakes.

4. Keep your tires properly inflated.

For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent.

5. Avoid rush hour, if possible.

Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants. For hybrids that can stay in electric mode at low speeds, the effects of stop-and-go driving are greatly reduced.

6. Travel light.

An extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent.

7. Combine trips.

Warmed-up engines run more efficiently and generate less air pollution.

8. Leave off the air conditioning, if possible.

AC increases fuel consumption, increases smog-forming NOx emissions in some vehicles, and can involve environmentally damaging fluids. At high speeds, open windows increase drag; use vents if possible. (I must admit this isn't one I follow -- I can't stand being hot. But I try to follow the others as much as possible, so I don't feel guilty about this one).

9. Check your own fuel economy every few weeks.

If you notice the numbers slipping, then think about how your driving might have changed, and consider getting a tune-up or an oil change.

10. Drive less.

Give your car a rest by taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. The exercise will do you good.

1 comment:

Adamgv said...

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