Will you be driving this Labor Day weekend? TripAdvisor estimates that Labor Day travel this year will increase by 10% over 2015, and 60% of travelers plan to drive. If you’re one of them, here are some driving tips to help you improve your fuel economy on the road.
Drive gently. Stop it already with the jackrabbit starts, squealing down the road just to brake for the next stop light. Check your impatience at the door. Drive with the flow of traffic, accelerate gently and coast to a stop whenever and wherever possible rather than screeching to a halt moments before the collision.
Slow and steady wins the race. Fuel economy peaks at about 55 mph and goes down rapidly after that. Toyota.com notes, “Look at it like this: According to FuelEconomy.gov, the official U.S. government source for fuel economy information, every five mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an extra 14 cents per gallon of gas.” Ouch!
Use the left lane for passing. Period. For one thing, everyone is safer on the road when left-lane buffaloes aren’t driving five mph below the speed limit. However, using the left lane only to pass makes fuel-economy sense, too. Repeatedly swerving between lanes burns gasoline.
Try to avoid the rush. Next Friday afternoon will be crazy on the roads. If you join the millions of travelers embarking on their holiday weekend at that time, you’ll spend plenty of time idling along waiting for traffic jams to clear. Can you stagger your schedule a little? Drive late at night, take off early in the day?
Preventative maintenance. Before you hit the road for the holiday, make sure your car is ready for the trip. Are you up to date on your oil change? Coolant levels just right? Check the inflation on your tires; like so many tips, this one pays off in safety, too.
Gas Buddy, baby! Find the best gas prices using Gas Buddy or a similar app. This is invaluable when you’re in a strange place and don’t know the go-to spots for a fill-up.
Have a great Labor Day trip—and don’t break the budget while you’re at it!