If you are one of the many Americans who are feeding a large SUV hundreds of dollars a week at the gas pumps to drive to work, there are ways to still save on fuel. These urban assault vehicles are not economical by any means when it comes to gas mileage, but if you have a large family, a small coupe just won’t do. If you still need to drive your large SUV, here are some ways that will help you cut down on the amount of gas you actually use.
Many Americans today have a much longer commute each day than even our parents did just two decades ago. Mine is twenty miles each way and that’s relatively short compared to many others. With the price of a gallon of gas today, it can seem like you are working just to be able to afford to drive to work. There are a few simple things you can do to cut down on your gas consumption and get a better MPG.
Take the high road
First, if like many, you commute from the suburbs into downtown to get to work, take the highway. If you live in a metropolitan area, chances are there is an Interstate route that you can drive to avoid red lights. Red lights are the enemy of good gas mileage. In most areas they seem as if they are programmed to stop you at nearly every cross street during rush hour traffic. This cuts down on speed and accidents, but it kills your gas budget. Every time you pull out from a red light, you are wasting more gas. This brings me to my next point:
Treat the accelerator like there is an egg under it
Treat the accelerator like there is an egg under it. My father gave me this little piece of advice when I first learned to drive. If I had followed it then, I’d have saved myself a lot of money on fuel and perhaps speeding tickets. When you jackrabbit off the line at a green light, you are opening up a stream of fuel the size of your pinky finger. That’s about four times more than you actually need to get your car moving. Most of it will not even get burned. Instead, press the accelerator down gently and slowly. You’ll still get up to speed; you just won’t do it in 2.3 seconds of MPG killing thrust.
Ease off the line
When you’re forced to take surface streets, remember, it’s not a race. If you race off the line to get ahead of the guy in the next lane, chances are he will still be beside you at the next light. So ease off the line, watch him race off ahead and then when you pull up beside him at the next light, smile, because you’ll still be driving when he has to pull into a gas station to fill his tank again.
Get a buddy
Chances are there is someone in your office that lives in your suburb. Find this person and go old school green. That’s right: Carpool. Not only will you immediately cut your gas usage in half, but you get to use the HOV lane. The HOV lane allows you to buzz right by a lot of the slower traffic without having to slow down, and a good steady pace is always good on your gas mileage. Now you’re spending less time at the gas pump and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket for that lunch hotspot you’ve wanted to try.