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Changing Driving Habits

Changing driving habits can save lots of gas, frustration, and time. Just making small adjustments in your schedule, the way you drive, and making friends can have a big effect on your commute and travel expenses. Here are a few suggestions to help you save.

  • Pooling Your Trip Tasks

    Don't just jump in the car to run one errand, such as going to the grocery store. If you can wait until three or four runs need to be made, then you can pool them into one trip.

  • Accelerating and Coasting

    Vehicles use the most gas on start up. This is verified by NASA's rocket launchings. They attach an addictional fuel canister that is larger than the craft itself for the sole purpose of launching into space. Once the craft is out of our atmosphere, the extra tank is empty and is discarded. This is because most of the fuel needed to get the ship into outer space is used just to get it started. We've heard to old physics principal " A body at rest tends to stay at rest..." It takes a lot of energy to accelerate from stop up to traffic speed. Therefore, is best to gradually bring the car up to speed to save gas, rather than pressing the gas petal to the floor.

    If you are approaching a red light, and you see it from a distance, why keep driving at full speed, when you know you are going need to stop. Why not let the car's momentum take you to the traffic light, by taking your foot off the petal, and just coast in.

  • Around Town

    Most metropolitan areas having a morning rush hour and an afternoon rush hour. If you could time your errands to avoid driving in the direction of the heavy traffic, that will save you time, frustration, and gas. If your destination is reverse direction of the rush hour traffic, this may be the best time to go.

  • Long Trips

    • Cruise Control

      Use the cruise control on long trips out of town. The cruise control regulates your car's speed by keeping it constant. It prevents you from continuously speeding up and slowing down as you would manually controlling the gas petal. Everytime you speed up, it wastes more gas.

    • Night Driving

      Driving at night has several benefits. If you are driving through a hot area in the summer, driving at night is cooler and saves using the air conditioner. Also, there is much less traffic on the road at night. This is especially helpful if you are driving through heavily populated areas.

    • Use a Device to Monitor Your Driving Emissions

      Eco-Navigator Saves Gas
      Eco-Navigator Saves Gas

      This neat GPS device monitors your driving habits and gives you a score. Its Eco-Way mode the device displays your current miles-per-gallon, throttle position (as a 0-100 percentage), and pounds of CO2 emitted per mile. Essentially, the device collects data on how you drive, then allows you to view reports in a number of different ways. You can compare your performance to your overall cumulative score, or to some other benchmark such as your car's EPA rating, a fleet average, or averages maintained by other drivers of the same car. When you have optimized your driving performance, and it is still sub-par, the device taps into your car's drive train to see if there is any maintenance or repairs needed.

      When using the GPS function to map your route, there is an Eco-Route mode that selects the route that saves the most gas.

      Real world use in Europe have shown that it can save up to 15% fuel, just by changing your driving habits and keeping your car tuned up.

    • Gassing Up on Road Trips

      When you need to stop for gas, rather than stopping at the freeway gas stations, go into the center or oldest part of town. Gas is usually cheaper there. You can tell when you are in the central part of the town when the street names are numbered ("1st Street" or "1st Avenue"), lettered ("A Street" or "A Avenue") , or there is a "Main Street".

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  • Commuting to Work

    Heavy traffic in large metropolitan areas is a way of life for city dwellers. They keep adding lanes, but by the time the lanes are completed, the number of cars added makes the new lanes obsolete before they are finished. It's not uncommon to have seven lanes going each direction at freeway interchanges in western cities. In the mornings and evenings all the lanes will be full. It looks like a gigantic parking lot. There are a number of suggestions here to avoid or minimize sitting in rush hour traffic.

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