This weekend, I’m heading out of Calgary for a wedding. I’m not doing the driving because a few of us have decided to carpool (I think I get fuel efficiency points for that). But I must confess that when I am behind the wheel, I have a bad habit of going over the speed limit.
I need to break that habit – or should I say brake? – because it’s dangerous. And as if safety isn’t a good enough reason, slowing down also has other perks. I recently read in the Globe and Mail that by driving 100 km/h instead of 120 km/h, your fuel consumption can drop by 20 percent. (Now that definitely earns fuel efficiency points.)
CNN agrees. An article I read on one of their sites says that in a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 mph is akin to the price of gas going up by 54 cents a gallon. US currency and Imperial measurements aside, that’s math worth taking note of. Also noteworthy, the CNN article explains the calculations and mechanics behind this statistic; check it out if you’re curious.
In googling the subject, I came across a blog called “Road Rules”. The post I read described the increased fuel consumption and emissions that are caused by jackrabbit starts and hard braking. The author also mentions a fuel efficient driving course, which advises people to take it easy on the gas pedal and to allow enough following distance so there's time to decelerate by coming off the gas (rather than by slamming on the brake).
Going pedal to the metal might get you somewhere a little bit faster, and you might think you look cool doing it (for a demonstration of looking cool, check out the speeding Aston Martin that I recently saw Kobe Bryant jump over on YouTube), but is that really worth it?
(And yes, I know, the Kobe Bryant video has nothing to do with fuel efficiency, but it's weakly related to speeding and it is pretty cool. Take a look if you haven’t seen it already.)
Photo credit: Si Y