When driving, does it make sense to speed up in order to slow down? Hopefully your answer is “no!” Sadly, in many cases drivers ignore the ill logic of this statement. Now let’s be real; no one is going to admit that they are a bad driver. Some people will admit they are timid behind the wheel, but that’s about the best you’ll get. My purpose in writing this blog is not to make anyone think they are a bad driver, but instead to raise awareness of how your driving style can save you gas, money, and reduce CO2 emissions! Now what’s not to love about that?
When you are on the highway you should be cruising. That does NOT mean speeding. It means you should have your car operating at a constant speed–ideally this would be about 50mph, but 65mph will do. Not only is this safer, but it is close to the ‘optimal speed’ for your car. The optimal speed is that speed at which you get the best gas mileage at a constant rate. If you speed, you generally catch up to the car in front of you. This style of driving demands far more breaking, versus “cruising” when you generally only need to take your foot off the gas for a second here and there to adjust your speed. Also, if you are the speeding type, once you have caught up to said car, braked to avoid it, then steered around it, chances are you may decide to accelerate past them. WRONG! Unnecessary accelerating and decelerating wastes even more gas! The “cruising” style of driving will consistently save your breaks, saving you money, and help you use precious gas as efficiently as possible, saving you even more money!
Now, I asked you earlier, does it make sense to speed up when you have to slow down? If you are driving and see a stop sign ahead, why not take your foot off the gas pedal and slow down organically? You waste gas for every extra second you are pressing the pedal and also wearing out your brakes at an accelerated rate (and brake pads cost a lot to replace). Coasting to a stop is also be more comfortable for your passengers, which have many of because hopefully you are carpooling! My father hates when my mom keeps her foot on the gas until she’s 20 yards of a stop sign or red light. He calls it “hurrying up to slow down.” So be aware! Drive at consistent speeds, anticipating stops, and don’t forget to carpool. You won’t regret it.