(NC) You may not be able to do anything about the price of gas, but you can still save yourself a bundle if you’re smart. Affordable driving can be as easy as avoiding these five gas-wasting habits everyone falls prey to sometimes.
1. The red light trap. Nobody likes getting stuck at a red, and it’s so tempting to floor the gas and get back underway. But aggressive acceleration pushes your engine harder than normal driving and sucks back gulps of gas with each burst of speed. Take it easy when the light turns green — your engine and wallet will both thank you. Don’t worry about racing the guy next to you to the next red light, just relax.
2. Over-driving. It feels intuitive to constantly monitor and adjust your speed to gain any advantage on the road. But even small constant speed changes can skyrocket your gas use. Pick a speed that works for the situation, sit back, stay at that speed and use your extra focus to keep an eye on traffic ahead to avoid unnecessary stopping.
3. The bumper-to-bumper pitfall. Not only does getting caught up in the middle of traffic feel awful, it wreaks havoc on your mileage, too. All that starting, stopping, speed changing, and sudden braking to avoid that guy on his phone you just noticed — it’s sucking money right out of your wallet. You can save yourself cash and aggravation by keeping your eyes far up ahead to get an early heads-up on any situations you may have to deal with.
4. NASCAR driving. The faster you go, the more gas you need to keep up those high speeds. Going from 100 km/h to 120 km/h drinks up about 20 percent more gas. Allow for a few more minutes of smart driving in your trip and arrive happier and richer.
5. The braking trap. We’re hardwired as drivers to follow a simple equation: gas equals go, brake equals stop. But we can fool ourselves into also thinking brake equals slow. It’s far easier and cheaper to just coast when you want to slow down. Give yourself a little time to cool off your speed when you see the next light turn red. The slower you’re going when you need to apply the brakes, the less force they need to stop you safely. Not only will this save you gas, but your brake pads will thank you, not to mention your passengers.
Find more information online at vehicles.gc.ca.