With oil prices hitting record highs, consumers are feeling the impact that rising gas prices have on their wallets. Since drastic changes—such as buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle, driving less often, or carpooling—are not realistic options for many, here are three easy gas-saving tips for all drivers, regardless of the vehicle.
√ Drive like you’d want your teenage daughter to drive. Or better yet, how you’d want her 16-year-old boyfriend to drive with her in the car. That means driving the speed limit and anticipating traffic patterns to avoid sudden stops and aggressive takeoffs. According to the Federal Trade Commission, safe driving can improve gas mileage by nearly 5 percent. The FTC reports on their Web site that “gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.” It pays to take your time.
√ Plan ahead: Planning ahead can save time and money. Cars are most fuel-efficient when the engine is warm, so combine multiple trips into one afternoon and try to avoid rush-hour traffic. When possible, find “one stop shops” rather than driving to multiple venues. Unpack any unnecessary items in the trunk that might add more weight to the car. Before leaving home, look on the Internet for the best prices on gas and plan your route accordingly. Check online at www.kentuckygasprices.com for the highest and lowest gas prices in Kentucky.
√ Maintenance: According to AAA motor club, ongoing maintenance of your vehicle can equate to more fuel-efficient driving. Important upkeep includes making sure your spark plugs are in good condition, checking the air filters twice a year, and inflating tires to the appropriate level specified in your car’s owner’s manual.
SILVER LINING: WHY HIGHER GAS PRICES ARE GOOD
Let’s make some lemonade here. Yes, gas prices have drastically increased. But is there any good news to come from this? Here are three ways higher gas prices have had a positive impact on our world:
1. Highway fatalities down: With fewer people on the roads traveling at lower speeds, the Associated Press reported earlier this year a 9% decrease in motor vehicle deaths for the first five months of 2008.
2. Health and environment: More people than ever are taking advantage of public transportation and alternatives to driving such as riding a bike or walking, thus improving air quality and health.
3. Alternative fuels: Alternative energy sources such as ethanol and wind plants are receiving more attention and funding as it becomes apparent we need to search for alternative sources of fuel.