If your experience of learning to drive was anything like mine, you were told countless times to slow down—and didn’t listen. Now a new study finds we might paying thousands of dollars a year for speeding tickets.
A test conducted by General Motors showed that driving like a maniac significantly lowers your miles per gallon.
Using two identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs, GM had two fuel economy engineers drive for a typical day. Ann Wenzlick drove responsibly while Beth Nunning did the opposite, speeding and pounding the brakes in traffic.
To no one’s surprise, Wenzlick averaged 16 mpg more than Nunning, which over a year adds up to $1,236. As Roger Clark, manager of GM’s energy centre, points out, “When you combine a poorly maintained car with inefficient driving habits, the fuel economy of the worst drivers can be 50 per cent below average.”
Here, Wenzlick offers some interesting tips for not burning your gas money:
1. Get out of the drive through lane: You may not notice but when you are idling in the drive through lane you are still burning gas.
2. Accelerate smoothly: One of the main mistakes Beth—and many of us make—is flooring it at lights just to slam the brakes at the next light.
3. Drive 70, not 80: Ann warns that on the highway “a 10-mph difference likely won’t add much time to your daily commute, but it will save you up to four miles per gallon on the highway.”
4. Use Cruise Control: Speeding up and slowing down constantly is much less efficient than maintaining one speed so on the highway opt for cruise control.
5. Roll up the windows on the highway: As Wenzlick explains, “At slower speeds, turning off the air conditioning can save you a little, but I always roll up the windows on the highway. Beth was driving with her windows down, and the increased air pressure acted like a parachute trying to slow her down – consuming much more energy than air conditioning ever will.”
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