If we slow down do we save MPG?
In the current gas crisis, many are touting the benefits of auto maintenance, hybrid cars, and driving-style strategies. Some suggestions are better than others. One, however, is down right dangerous – Driving 55 MPH.
Although a reduced driving speed does indeed save gas, there are three scenarios that will occur should one maintain such a cruising speed. They may happen individually or all at once.
Cussed Out: You will be sworn at, glared at, and thought of as an imbecile. This annoyance by your driving compatriots is justified from the perspective of the “go-with-the-flow” commuter attitude. It may even be argued that your efforts at fuel conservation are causing a domino effect, forcing thousands of vehicles to “hit the brakes,” which is one of the greatest wastes of energy for a car.
Cut Off: Cars will be whizzing by you left and right. Many will cut in front of you based on the aforementioned commuter logic. Getting cut off is not fun, and can waste energy (as you slam on the brakes). It will also significantly increase your chances of crashing, which is never a good gas savings method.
Killed: Of course crashing can greatly increase your chances of getting killed, or killing others. What is the death risk-factor to fuel savings worth? Should one opt for the latter, is that decision fair to the driving community?
To confirm the above, a panic-stricken, professional woman related the horrors of when she tried to drive 55 MPH during her commute. She stated that she was cussed out, cut off and “damn near killed.” Fellow commuters were making rude hand gestures, swearing, honking, and swerving in front of her of car. Fun stuff.
Until we get every driver to govern one’s vehicle to 55 MPH it’s probably best to go with the flow. In the mean time, check your tire pressure, and keep your vehicle maintained according to your manufacturer’s recommendations to save on gas.