Energy-efficiency on the road
Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of gas you use. If you are already following these tips, you are probably getting the best gas mileage your car can deliver. Click on a link below to learn more.
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Fuel Economy Benefit • 5–33%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings • $0.15–$1.01/gallon
Observe the Speed Limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer.
Fuel Economy Benefit • 7–23%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings • $0.21–$0.71/gallon
Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Fuel Economy Benefit • 1–2%/100 lbs
Equivalent Gasoline Savings • $0.03–$0.06/gallon
Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Use Overdrive Gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours.
Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle.
Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it.
Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes which are typically less congested, further improving your fuel economy.
Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you. The American Public Transit Transportation Association has links to information about public transportation in your state.
A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent. Reduce aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel economy by placing items inside the trunk whenever possible.
Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent.
More information can be found at www.fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel efficiency information.