Are you a driver who feels the need for speed? Not only are you subject to a speeding ticket by law enforcement officers, but you could be spending unnecessary money at the pump as well.
As you know, May is National Moving Month and is known as the busiest moving month in the year. As families start gearing up to move from state-to-state, it’s safe to say that there will be a ton of driving going on all over the country. Some families may opt to ditch the long and stressful car ride and instead ship their car with an auto transport company. On the other hand, there are the families that decide to pack up their car and make the trip themselves. Plus, summer is usually the time when families go on vacation and take road trips. Whether you are moving or going on a summer vacation road trip, know that there are ways you can save money on fuel just by driving better.
According to a 2006 report by CNN Money, drivers can get 35 percent better fuel mileage out of their vehicle by taking simple precautionary measures to ensure fuel efficiency. The notion of taking our time to save a few bucks should be incentive enough. Unfortunately, some people still have their doubts.
For those that do, the U.S. Department of Energy states that, “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.”
As summer approaches, everyone should be aware of how to lower the cost of family road trips and moves by strategically planning for fuel efficiency.
Here are a few tips from the U.S. Department of Energy to help keep money in your wallet and keep you safe on the road.
- Observe the speed limit.
Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that every five miles you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas.
- Clean your vehicle and remove the excess weight.
An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
- Use the ‘Cruise Control’ feature when highway driving.
It helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
- Turn off your engine and avoid idling while waiting.
Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour. Note: Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear.
- Trip planning.
Combining trips and actually planning your trip ahead of time can help lower stress and fuel consumption. Staggering your work hours to avoid peak rush hours and telecommuting when possible can drastically lower your costs.
- Avoid carrying unneeded items.
Loaded roof racks can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent.
An additional tip from Montway: When moving cross country ask yourself, “Is it better to ship my car or drive it?”
Take a look at some of the advantages to shipping a car and decide for yourself which is best:
-save on the wear and tear of the car
-save your money and time
-reduce the stress of moving
-keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape will maintain your vehicle’s fuel efficiency!
And remember: Take your car in for regular maintenance and avoid prolonging the oil changes. When getting your oil changed, make sure to use the recommended grade of oil for your vehicle. These are some extra ways to save on your fuel and keep your car in tip-top shape.
IMAGE: Courtesy of jcarlosn via Flickr
Janean L. Watkins found her niche in writing and photography as a student at Northeastern Illinois University. During her time there, she created .:Seeds:., an award winning literary arts journal. As Editor in Chief of Independent newspaper, she led the university newspaper to win awards from both the Illinois College Press Association and Associated College Press.
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