It’s been in the news for weeks: gas prices are at an all-time high due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. However, people still need to find places. Unfortunately, there is no completely satisfying way to save gas. But by adopting a few fuel-efficient driving habits, you can get better gas mileage.
Here are three tips from Old National Road Driving Institute owner Eric Robertson:
Fuel-Efficient Driving Habit #1: Stop Slowly and Gradually
Robertson took a drive with Allison Gormly, an investigative reporter with NBC Indianapolis affiliate WTHR. During their conversation, he explained how the average driver can achieve better gas mileage simply by staying aware and adapting to various situations.
First, the longtime driver education instructor recommends minimizing red lights, stop signs and other roadblocks whenever possible.
According to Robertson, “getting hot” uses more fuel, and while braking slowly won’t cut your gas costs in half, stopping and going adds up more than you might think.
However, highway driving might be where drivers have the greatest opportunity to stretch their tank further.
Fuel-Efficient Driving Habit #2: Maintain a Consistent Speed on the Highway
Motorway driving can be monotonous, but every little movement puts tremendous strain on your car’s engine. Move your foot off the accelerator pedal, even slightly, to tune the radio or check that your phone is burning more gas than you think.
“There are so many things that make us speed up and slow down, speed up and slow down,” Robertson said. “And over time, it adds up.”
He recommends using cruise control whenever possible to keep your engine running without too many sudden changes. Although some traffic and weather conditions may make this advice unnecessary, cruise control is easier on the engine and keeps momentum going in the right direction.
But sometimes you need to stop in no time, and Robertson has tips for that too.
Fuel-efficient driving habit #3: Stay away from the car in front of you
Robertson’s next tip is for stopped vehicles on city streets and highways. The urge might be to pull up to the car in front of you, but Robertson points out that keeping a calm mind and focusing on safe driving is more critical than reactionary moves. That alone could save not only gas money, but also the health and safety of every driver and passenger involved.
“You want to stop far enough that you can see their tires on the ground,” Robertson told Gormly. “But if you’re two feet from that car and it takes off, what do you do? You knock and go… So you react to what is happening instead of driving.
Also, panicking can cause you to lose your sense of the road, but remembering the basics helps the motor. This protects you when something unexpected happens.
Bonus tips for saving fuel
These are all driving tips to help your car’s fuel economy, but you can save more by maintaining your vehicle. Making sure the tires are properly inflated and the oil is full helps the engine run better and saves you more money than you might think. Additionally, those who drive with unnecessary cargo weighing down their car should consider removing unnecessary junk from the trunk to keep the engine from working harder than it should.
These tips won’t lower gas prices, but they will increase the time between fill-ups. Plus, Consumer Reports notes that high-quality gas, sticking to speed limits, and turning off the air conditioning can all do wonders for your wallet.
In times of uncertainty like this, it’s hard to say when gasoline prices will come back down. Until then, drive smoothly, stay alert and make sure your car is in top condition.
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