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Take it Slow and Save on Gas

Take it Slow and Save on Gas

Drivers may not be aware of the enormous impact their driving style has on fuel consumption.

You can get better fuel mileage out of your current vehicle by using something most drivers already have: good driving skills.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and FuelEconomy.gov, aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and braking not only creates a roadway safety hazard, it also wastes gas. In fact, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.

Check out these five tips for fuel efficient driving, and watch the savings add up:

1. Don’t have a lead foot. Putting the “pedal to the metal” wastes gas because the harder you accelerate the more fuel is used. Press the accelerator pedal gently. A good rule of thumb for optimal fuel-efficient driving is to take about five seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to 15 miles per hour from a stop. For a manual transmission, use a moderate throttle position, and shift between 2,000 and 2,500 RPMs.

2. Keep it steady. Dips in speed combined with spurts of acceleration can increase your fuel use by up to 20 percent. One easy fuel-efficient driving technique is using cruise control on the highway.

3. Stay alert. Keep your vehicle’s momentum by planning your maneuvers ahead of time. Pay attention to the road ahead, anticipate the movements of pedestrians and other drivers, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. This will save you gas and keep you safer on the road.

4. Don’t slam on the brakes. In regular driving situations, coasting toward a stop sign or red light helps you conserve fuel and save money. It’s not only a fuel-efficient driving habit, it’s also easier on your tires and brakes, which helps you save on maintenance and repair costs.

5. Slow down. While every model is different, most vehicles’ gas mileage starts to tank at speeds above 50 mph. Look at it like this: every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an extra quarter for a gallon of gas. Slowing down can also save you money on those speeding tickets and insurance costs.

For more information, visit www.FuelEconomy.gov.