Gas Saving Lessons from Grandma and Grandpa

“Get off the road grandpa!” That’s what I used to yell (or at least think) when a car in front of me accelerated slowly or didn’t eventually reach 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. I mean…please! I had to drive like a maniac; I had important things to get home to do like watching TV or getting a snack.

These days I drive like grandpa, and we have $3.00/gallon gas to thank for it. I have more time than money now, so getting some place 5 minutes later is much better for me than continually lining the pockets of Iran and Venezuela.

So why did I decide to become a grandpa? I did so after reading a report on Edmunds.com that showed that accelerating slowly (0-60 in 20 seconds) and coasting into stops (as opposed to braking right before a stop) actually increase your gas mileage by an average of 31%. Yes…I said an average of 31%, not up to 31% (the study found up to 37% actually)! This means that if your car averages 25 miles per gallon, simply by taking off more slowly and easing into stops you could be getting 32.75 mpg. If your car averages 30 mpg, then this technique could bring you up to 39.3 mpg. “Wait,” you may ask, “this is nearing hybrid level gas mileage, isn’t it?” To quote Michelle Tanner on Full House, “you got it dude!” Edmunds found the same thing: driving with a little more reserve takes your average car and makes it perform more like a hybrid. So basically, we could darn-near end the current gas crisis if we would just drive like grandma and grandpa.

Now you may be getting a little nervous. This will clearly not make you the most popular driver on the road. I drive this way (and at the speed limit) to work every morning on a state route. Yes, I get passed sometimes. Yes, I am sure I make some drivers mad. Do I care? Not at all. Not only am I saving myself money, but I am saving oil, oil that funds hostile nations. As such I am proud to drive like a grandpa, although I still haven’t gotten the knack of leaving my turn signal on for miles.

Other tips to save gas?

-Turn off your car when idling (up to 19% savings)

-Drive the Speed Limit (12% average savings)

-Keep tires correctly inflated (minor savings)

-Use Cruise Control on flat drives (7% average savings)