Adjusting to Record High Gas Prices
Adjusting to Record High Gas Prices - What can we do to combat the cost now and in the future
If you spend any time driving, I am sure that you have witnessed the huge increase in gas prices over the course of the past several weeks, and are reeling because of it. I suppose we were lucky over the winter months that gas remained at some of the lowest levels we have seen in recent years, but currently I don't remember a time when the price of gas had risen so dramatically as we are seeing now.
For many of us this is a huge hit to our wallets as gasoline is an essential part of everyday life, and it is difficult to go without it. There are however several ways to lessen the blow to our wallets should care enough to take the time and patience to learn them.
Personally, I have always been an aggressive driver; driving as close to 80mph as possible whenever I could. Unfortunately for me though, I had had a SUV for my vehicle and was lucky to get 18mpg and fill up the tank for less than $60 a pop for the past several years.That all changed for me back in January though when I traded in my SUV for a Toyota Prius and began to learn to drive more efficiently.
On the Prius, there is a gauge that allows you to see your fuel economy in real time, and thus you can adjust the way you drive so that you can achieve the best fuel efficiency as possible. I quickly began to realize that the way I had always driven was an incredible waste of fuel and drain on the vehicle.
Once I had come to that realization, I began to change my ways by learning how to accelerate and decelerate at a gradual pace and using cruise control to help keep me at a constant speed while driving longer distances. Sure enough, within a week I was able to move my fuel economy in the Prius from 44mpg to just over 50mpg!
It was at that point that I realized just how wrong I used to be, and I began to see how the majority of drivers out on the road have the same habits that I used to have that are a substantial waste of fuel for little change in position.
These habits include:
- Accelerating and Decelerating too fast - What is the point in accelerating so that you can get right on the rear end of the person in front of you and be forced to brake and wait for them to move over? All that you are doing is wasting fuel and you are not getting anything out of it.By accelerating gradually and then coasting, you are going to go just as fast without having to constantly brake and wait for the person in front of you.
- Driving well above the speed limit - Not only will this eventually get you a ticket, but with traffic and stoplights out there you are only saving yourself a few minutes(if that) over the efficient driver at 65-70mph.
- Weaving in and out of traffic - Not only is this dangerous, but you are just accelerating unnecessarily to perhaps get 1-2 cars ahead of your current position. It just isn't worth it!
These are just a few of the driving techniques that many of us use that are killing our fuel efficiency. With gas prices as high as they are now, every little thing will help you lessen that pain at the pump. So if are still driving like a bat out of hell, you might want to rethink your driving style and opt for something a little more calmer and efficient, not only will you save money, but you will have a lot less aggravation in the long run.