Driving Like An Old Lady Can Make Any Car Fuel Efficient

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that we can improve our fuel efficiency without building more hybrids or increasing the fuel efficiency of automobiles, we just have to drive like a bunch of old ladies.

Eco-driving, as it’s being branded, involves driving slowly on the highway, shifting gears earlier and turning the engine off rather than idling when possible. In other words, don’t be profligate in your driving behaviour, be a penny pincher.

Ford’s (F) even giving out lessons on how to do it:

Ford Motor Co. has been promoting eco-driving for several years in Germany. Last July, Ford flew Mr. Lau and another German Road Safety Council instructor to Detroit to give an eco-driving lesson to Mr. DeGrassi and other drivers from Pro Formance, the Phoenix professional-driving company. A month later, Ford and Pro Formance staged an eco-driving test with 48 Phoenix-area drivers, who improved their fuel economy an average of 24%.

The problem with this technique is that slow driving turns you into a target of ire on the roads. If you’re driving slowly, expect to hear horns honking around you, and expect to see middle fingers extended at you.

The other problem is that it’s no fun. Part of the thrill of driving is the roar of the engine and the speed, but if you want to squeeze a few extra miles out of a tank of gas, then by all means emulate a granny.

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