Driving So As To Conservegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
How many of us contribute to our dependence on foreign oil by their driving practices, and conversely, how many drive as to maximize mpg? My dad used to clock me one whenever I went directly from accelerator to brake, and also spent awhile doing math to figure out whether it was cheaper to turn off the car engine on a downhill run or not. (Answer, it takes more gas to restart than to drive downhill) The reason I ask, I get the bird practically every day when exiting the interstate-y'know, the big exit speed, 35 mph signs? I clutch, and am usually down to 40 when I pass that sign, and people have been known to have a tizzy to try to pass around me because I clutch and coast or gear down approaching a red light instead of racing up to it at normal driving speed, about 30-40 miles above the limit, and then slam on the brakes. How about the rest of us? (PS I not only get good mileage, but it helps my nerves to not buy into the typical highway frantics around here)
-- Mitzi Giles (Egiles2@prodigy.net), September 23, 2001
I commute in to work every weekday which is fifty miles one way. But, I don't drive it alone. Instead, I ride in a 15 passenger van. We all save on gas by riding in that one vehicle. I wish more people would van or carpool to work. It would sure save a lot of gasoline in this country.
-- Colleen (email@example.com), September 23, 2001.
I see that all the time Mitzi. On strips where there's a light every block, racing up and then jamming the brakes at the next red light up ahead. Not only is is more gas conservative to time your starting and stopping, it saves alot of wear and tear on your vehicle, especially brake pads. I get amused when people behind me a visibly annoyed that I'm not participating in their futile race. Most times I just slow down more or tap my brake enough to turn the brake lights on.
-- Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 23, 2001.
as long as you dont drive in the left or middles lanes. I HATE THAT. I use cruise control whenever I can,, and try to keep from rabbit starts.
-- stan (email@example.com), September 23, 2001.
This subject was covered by some one of the many elses I read regularly. His tips are on http://dfarq.homeip.net/archives/00000043.htm . Worth reading. While he said a lot more, a summary of some of the main points would be to have your tyres properly inflated, checked regularly, wheels balanced and aligned; and your vehicle serviced and tuned regularly. Also to drive slow, smooth and steady.
I added: "while you're driving slow, smooth and steady, also "drive ahead". That is, consciously look further ahead than most people do while driving. It helps in that "smooth" bit. Safer too. You see things developing up ahead, and you can often avoid getting caught behind a turning or parked vehicle, a bus, a slower vehicle, or a cyclist. Also you can often just coast up to a red light, rather than having to brake; and sometimes even be still rolling as it turns green. Ticks off the "hot-rod" types no end when you pass them as the lights turn green for the third time in a row."
Fact is, I learnt a lot one period (MUCH younger then) when I just HAD to drive - part of my job, was short on cash, and my brake-pads were worn. Under those circumstances you just have to drive smoothly and carefully. Try it: try driving as if you've got to baby your brakes. You'll find it's a lot easier on the driver to drive smoothly, and there's very little perceptible difference in arrival time - and not always in favour of the driver who's rushing.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 23, 2001.
Reading your post, i realized that our way of driving is merely habit, at least in my case. True i could further minimize wear and tear & maximize mpg if i pretended i was out for a joy ride coming to & from work. It's that mode i enter when i have a destination to be to at a certain time and that mode has become habit.
I consider myself to be good to my car after experiencing other's driving. i'm not nearly has hard on my breaks, nor do i give whip lashes when i take off as do some of my co-workers when we simply go to lunch.
However i'm not quite as concious as you slowing to the 35mph on the off ramps.
I maximize my mpg by NEVER using my AC in town or stop & go traffic. Only on the highway and then it must be mighty hot at that.
-- Buk Buk (email@example.com), September 23, 2001.
I sort of take Mitzi's approach to driving. . . if I see a stoplight ahead that I know will change to red before I get there, I just coast to it, trying to time it so I won't have to slow down or speed up drastically when I get to the intersection. Drives the other drivers behind me nuts; c'mon folks, we're all going to take off at the same time.
Otherwise, the way I save gas is to make sure that at least four or more errands will be accomplished on one round trip, hopefully done in a way saving distance driving. Forces my wife and I to really make lists on what we need from the store, saving additional money.
-- j.r. guerra (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 2001.
What I do? I stay home as much as possible, and nag hubby constantly that I think he likes to run around too much. I naturally slow down a good ways before stop signs, while he races up to it and jams on the brakes. I laugh when he almost misses the stop sign in his hurry. I ask why are we in such a rush, what are we running from at home, that we think we have to leave home so much? What's wrong with just staying home???
-- daffodyllady (email@example.com), September 24, 2001.
I do pretty much as J.R. suggested. Before going out, I make sure I have at least 3 errands to run and actually write them down in order. I also try very hard to drive 55 on the highway but do tend to be hassled if traffic is heavy. No jack-rabbit stops and starts. No only does it save gas but wear and tear on tires, brakes, etc. and check your tire pressure.
Wishing you enough.
-- Trevilians (aka Dianne in Mass) (Trevilians@mediaone.net), September 24, 2001.
I wish I could carpool, or use public transport, but that is not an option for home health or hospice workers. I sometimes play a game to see how few times I'm actually forced to use the brakes on the 21 mile drive home- my best day 5 times!
-- Mitzi Giles (Egiles2@prodigy.net), September 24, 2001.