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Blog Jul 16, 2014

7 Ways to Save Energy When Driving on Your Next Vacation

Energy Saving

There’s still half of summer time left, and that means taking the whole family for a ride and going on vacation for many. Fortunately, gas prices are holding relatively in check at this point.

However, when you do go on vacation, you still want to be as energy-efficient as possible. Here’s how to do that when driving:

1. Drive as Slow as Possible

We’re not saying you should be dangerous here. But, do drive right around the speed limit. Driving slower reduces your gas consumption, and it also decreases the likelihood and severity of an accident.

When you think about it, if you go 75 mph in a 65 mph speed limit, you only gain .16 miles for every minute on the road (versus someone going 65). For every hour, you get 10 more miles if you go 75 instead of 65. So is it really worth it to you to get there about 10 minutes earlier?

2. Use Cruise Control As Often as Possible

The most fuel gets consumed when your vehicle accelerates. So, set your cruise control when you can. You also make your driving more predictable for other motorists.

3. Avoid Traveling During Peak Times

You’ll get stuck on the road longer, have to start, stop, and accelerate more, and your chances of getting into an accident are much higher. Avoid traveling during the heaviest traffic flows if you can.

4. Avoid Using the AC If Possible

This might send everyone in your family into a tizzy, so you’ll have to use it judiciously. Energy savings is important, but you do have to weigh that against how your family will react. Using your air conditioner increases fuel costs from 13-21%, so that’s a nice savings if you can shut it off.

5. Take Only What You Need and Nothing More

A roof rack loaded down with stuff makes your vehicle use more fuel. If you can carry everything inside of your vehicle, do so. The best solution is to take as little as possible on your vacation.

6. Perform the Necessary Maintenance

Either have a relationship with a mechanic you trust, or perform the maintenance outlined by the owner’s manual yourself. Make sure your tires are inflated to the proper pressure. Change the air filter. When you need new tires, have the same make and model placed on your vehicle that were there when it was new.

7. Be Careful for Fuel Economy-Improving Devices

Both the EPA and the FTC have publicly stated none of these devices offer the fuel economy improvements promised. If you see them, don’t bother buying them.

So if you follow those seven tips, you’ll get pretty good fuel economy. Enjoy the savings!

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