It has become an icebreaker to begin talking to someone about gas prices. As we all know, gas prices are higher than Snoop Dogg. It has become a burden to drive, even to places of necessity. But, as a whole, we are not really helping our cause much. Most of us complain about the trimming of our paycheck at the pump, but we drive as if we have a savings account of six figures dedicated solely to petroleum expenditures. There are ways to maximize the usage of your gas, and this is critical for those who don’t have a loose budget.
The object of the game is to avoid too much stop and go. Continuously having to accelerate greatly reduces your MPG. Remaining at a constant speed, and even more importantly, as low an RPM as possible, will allow the most use out of your gas. Avoid constantly trying to be first place to all of the stop lights. First of all, accelerating up to a light (besides lowering your MPG) in which everyone is stopped is going to quickly wear down your brakes; simply coasting to the nearby red light will allow your vehicle to reach a high level in terms of MPG before stopping. In that instant, your engine is doing hardly any of the work, as the vehicle’s momentum carries it forward. When driving, especially at highway speeds, once you hit the desired speed, let your foot off of the pedal slightly; with the halting of acceleration, your engine can settle at a certain RPM, allowing your gas mileage to remain constant. (For those blessed with an MPG meter in your vehicle, you will be able to see the increase in efficiency and settle on the desired number.) On top of that, keep a fair amount of distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If they stop and then go shortly after, the distance will keep you from having to brake, which in turn lowers the level of reacceleration needed. (See the influence of acceleration yet?) Instead of having to stop, you can just coast, and will need minimal acceleration to get back up to speed.
I am in no means telling you to drive below the speed limit; there is nothing worse than a slow motorist. However, driving with a sense of patience and being conscious of what you’re doing will help you save money and gas. This isn’t important to everyone, but is certainly imperative to most.