I currently don’t drive much, so when I do I tend to be more aware of others’ driving habits than I used to be. Maybe it’s the speeding tickets I’ve had over the years, or maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t tend to drive very fast anymore. If anything my wife thinks I drive too slow sometimes. With that said, with gas coming up to $4/gallon ($3.95 by my house today, and $4.69 for diesel!) I’m somewhat surprised by how many people haven’t changed their habits.
I was passed numerous times today by SUVs flooring it to pass me, apparently because they wanted to be first to slam on the brakes before the red light (which was already yellow when they were passing me). I want to say I’m exaggerating this behaviour, but I’m not. I was driving 60 on the freeway (yes, in the right lane), but was a bit stunned to see people obviously doing 75 or more. While I realize that people need to get to places on time, it’s reported all over the place that driving slower reduces your gas usage by up to 10%. That’s the equivalent of paying $3.60 instead of $4.00 for each gallon.
My mom told me a few weeks ago she’s paying $80/week to commute across town. It’s likely now close to $100/week. A 10% savings would be saving $10/week – $520 per year. People switch car insurance companies for that, go out of their way to buy extra things to get ‘points back’ for ‘free’ airmiles and whatnot, but won’t just slow down to save money. I don’t get it.
Back when gas was $1.10/gallon, it was much harder to make the financial argument for slowing down. It’s been much easier the past year or so, but I haven’t really seen any difference. Have you? Do you drive slower now than you used to to save on gas use?
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