Slow Down – Daily Financial Tip

gas pumpIt’s shaping up to be an expensive summer at the gas pump and that means it’s worthwhile to go over the numerous little ways you can adjust your driving habits to save money on gas. One of the easiest is to simply slow down when driving on the highway. While it is easy to say that, a bit of an explanation may put a better perspective on how much you can save by driving a bit slower.

More than 50 percent of the energy needed to move your car on the highway is spent to overcome air that is in the way of you car. This is referred to as “aerodynamic drag” and it basically means that your biggest energy enemy on the highway is the air outside.

While the air may not seem like a big issue to a car, the fact is that the faster you drive, the more wind drag you have. The result is that a car’s the fuel economy decreases rapidly at speeds over 60 mph. In fact, for every 5 mph increase in speed over 60 mph, you are paying the equivalent of an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas.

One of the biggest problems people have in slowing down is that driving fast has become a habit. That usually mean that you need to do something to break the habit. if you know that you drive faster than 60 mph on the highway, write “60 mph” on a bright piece of paper and stick it on your dashboard so that you are bound to see it when driving (or any other act that will remind you to slow down until you break your current fast driving habit). If you can succeed in slowing down and relaxing a bit while driving on the highway, it will save you at least $50 a year, and much more depending on how fast and far you normally drive.

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6 Responses to Slow Down – Daily Financial Tip

  1. edenz says:

    An alternative to the sticky note: use cruise control if your car has it. I’m taking a trip this weekend and I’m going to try my hardest to drive less fast.

  2. Mara says:

    Hey!
    I was wondering, I drive 25 miles to work each way 5 days a week. This is if I take the freeway. I can use the regular streets and it is 22 miles each way but there are several stops. I would be driving slower, though. Which would be the cheapest route?
    Thanks!
    Mara

  3. Steve Halvorsen says:

    Actually, the optimum speed for most cars is 47 MPH, that is, the best fuel mileage, so if you can slow down to 55, you could save even more.
    Also, you can reduce wind drag by keeping your cars exterior clean and WAXED. Rain-X on the windshield helps too.
    Steve

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  5. pfadvice says:

    I was wondering, I drive 25 miles to work each way 5 days a week. This is if I take the freeway. I can use the regular streets and it is 22 miles each way but there are several stops. I would be driving slower, though. Which would be the cheapest route?

    You can easily figure it out by testing it with your car. Fill up your tank and use one route and then fill up and use the other and see which uses more gas. My guess is the highway would be better since stop and go uses a lot of gas, but you need to test it to be sure.

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