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How to Use Safe Driving Techniques to Save Gas

June 26th, 2008

save-money-on-gas.jpgIf you have purchased a new car (or even a not-so-new one) using the tips provided in the last article, you will probably want to save money on gasoline, especially considering the currently high prices. According to this article by David Hamilton, simply using relatively safe driving techniques can help you improve your overall gas mileage and squeeze some much-needed money out of a limited budget.


Want to spend less on the road? Drive safer. The same driving techniques that keep insurance cost under control can curb other car costs as well. Through a combination of safe driving habits and preventive maintenance you can stay safe, reduce costs, and cut your accident risk.

Low tire pressure, a dirty air filter, or oil made heavy and thick by accumulated debris can increase your risk of a sudden and potentially dangerous breakdown. On the financial front, fueleconomy.gov reports the savings from properly inflated tires alone can reduce effective gas cost by as much as 11 cents per gallon.

Preventive maintenance is crucial, but small changes to your driving habits will make the biggest difference over the long haul. Key among these changes is simply slowing down. According to research conducted by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. speeders pay an additional 20 cents per gallon for every five miles above 60 miles per hour.

The usual argument for a faster pace is a lower travel time, but the numbers just don’t add up. A poll conducted by Gallop.com estimated that the average round trip commute lasts about 46 minutes. Even assuming you spend the whole time going 80 on a 60 mile an hour interstate, your total time savings is about five minutes each way. This small time savings will cost you nearly two dollars extra on every fill-up.

Saving safely isn’t just about the way you move. The way you stop and park can plays a role as well. By watching for upcoming red lights and stop signs you can slow down in preparation and reduce the need to slam on the brakes. In the short term this will cut the amount of time your engine is burning money going literally nowhere. A safe following distance and earlier, less drastic reactions to road changes could also lower your accident risk. As an added bonus, consistent application of this driving style will extend the life of your brakes.

Gas-saving enthusiasts squeeze an extra drop out of longer stops as well. Those who keep close watch on the fuel gauge wince at the gas wasted backing out of parking spaces. Why waste gas backing your car out of a space only to go forward again? The simple solution is to pull forward when you park. The safety advantage comes from a better field of view and easier control of the car.

Regardless of the exact safe saver techniques you choose, the key is consistency. The daily impact on your gas budget can seem small, but it will quickly compound. Some of the more dramatic savings are even easier to miss. You might not even notice it when you slow down early ahead of a fast braking car and avoid a collision. It is even less likely that you will see the concealed highway trooper who clocked your safe speed and let you pass without adding a ticket to the price of your commute.



2 Responses to “How to Use Safe Driving Techniques to Save Gas”

  1. comment number 1 by: Samuel Thinel

    Well there are numerous ways to save on gas and some are walking to the post office or corner store if you can, car pooling, or sharing a ride. Order in for lunch instead of going out is another one. Hypermiling is another one and of course the controversial “run your car on water,” which is really taking the internet by storm. I found a review site that helped to explain how these methods can help you to save on gas and you can access the review if you like at homemadehydrogenfuelcar.com. I hope, you can find more ways to save on gas and improve gas mileage.

  2. comment number 2 by: porsche part

    You have to watch your speed, slow down. you need to check your tires daily. Be kind to your vehicle and choose and use the right oil/fuel for your car engine.

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