I can't drive 55

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by caberjim, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    I can, but it is frightening. I had to drive in to work on my own this morning. I usually ride in a carpool with a guy who refuses to go slower than 75, usually speeds along at 80-85. When I drove on my own in the past, I usually went 70-80. So with gas at 2.83 and remembering the "drive 55" campaign of old, I decided to see if I could keep my little hatchback between 55 and 60 mph and see if that made as big a difference in mileage as the experts say it does. So there I am driving in the far right lane of a major 6 lane highway (3 lanes each way) averaging about 58mph. Talk about angry drivers. It was bad enough watching the innumerable large SUVs, big pickups and sedans flying by me as if I were standing still, but the ones going 70 in the slow lane came up behind me furious that I was in their way. I lost count of the number of big SUVs and large pickups that would come within a few feet of my bumper before passing me and nearly clipping my back end. The entire trip I passed no one. There was one car matching my speed - a Prius that followed me for a while before exiting. 58 feels like a crawl if everyone else is doing 75+.

    On the plus side - I made it to work at the same time as I do when I'm traveling 80. The backups and bottlenecks on the interstate and beltway are the great equalizer.

    Also, judging by where the needle is on my gas guage, the difference in gas used was tremendous. I guess I'll tighten my seatbelt and drive 55 on the way home as well.
     
  2. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I tried that once. There was an 18 wheeler riding his jake brake only a foot away from my trunk. I had to speed up just to get rid of that maniac. On two lane back roads, people will ride inches off of your rear bumper then pass as quickly as they can, sometimes showering your car with trash as they pass. I would like to arrive at work in once piece and not tick off some wife beating lunatic who doesn't mind a few dents in his bumper.
     

  3. kz

    kz Well-Known Member

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    I'm definitely seeing lower speeds in my area. (Wisconsin) Two days ago I set my speed control at 65mph and hardly anyone passed me. That seems to be the speed most people are going. Sometimes I even set it at 60 and have nothing to be afraid of.
    I noticed that the last time we had high gas prices. (and that was only $2+) I guess it's one good thing about higher prices. Hard on the economy though.
     
  4. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the speed effects the cars economy at all. To me it always made more sense to go a constant speed instead of a slower speed. Once your up and running you don't burn anymore gas doing 75 than 55. Its just if you hammer it to get there instead of slowly accelerating that burns it faster.

    also stop and go traffic will kill you mileage. Thus why city mileage is always lower than highway mileage.
     
  5. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it is better to go as fast as you can - you get there quicker so the engine isn't running as long - that has to save gas! :p
     
  6. whinnyninny

    whinnyninny Crazy about horses

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    You could always move to Oklahoma City... many people drive 50-55 mph on the freeway, even though the speed limit is 60-65 (depending on which section)! At least in the south half of the city, that is. :p And traffic isn't even heavy! Quite a change from Dallas though, where you get run over if you're doing less than 5 mph over the speed limit...
     
  7. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My sil is a cop, and he tells me he has NEVER seen anyone rearended while driving 55 in the far right lane. And if someone crawls up your bumper, put your headlights on. The taillights usually will cause them to react by braking, thinking you did. And a bumper sticker stating you are going to drive 55 to save gas also helps. They know then that harrassing you won't get you to drive faster. It really does save a lot of gas, and as previously posted, driving faster really saves you no time. And you won't die by being passed, and it should not frighten you.
     
  8. whinnyninny

    whinnyninny Crazy about horses

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    On the freeways outside of the metro area, I notice that people are driving faster and faster lately... I wonder if they have that same reasoning, lol!
     
  9. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    when someone is riding on my tail and there is another lane to my left they can be using to pass me, I actually press my brakes and slow down for a split second. They need to really hit the brakes for a second, too, thinking they're about to be in an accident. I do it carefully enough that it won't actually result in an accident. They back off after that. If they creep up on me again, I do it again. Repeat as necessary. When they finally pass me, i look over at he driver. Most often, they don't look at me, as if they were embarassed to be behaving badly and have me point it out. On rare occasion, I get a glare. Oh well, they missed the lesson. I make a gentle tsk tsk shake of my head and hand and let it go, so I don't take on the anger or stress of another.
     
  10. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Personally I would like some brillian scholar to actually determin which really uses less fuel. ;Driving 100 miles( in 1 hour) at 100 MPH or driving 100 miles (in 2 hours) at 50 miles per hour. How to figure this out is way beyond me this morning! I mean if my car gets 20 mpg- at what speed is it getting 20 mpg? I found myself putting my car in neutral yesterday going down the mountain. Still had breaks and steering and stuff but the car was just running in idle for about 6 miles or 1/2 hour. I wonder if that helped...sure was fun!
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I get 30 MPG at 55, 25 MPG at 75.It does make a difference.I see it realtime on the MPG guage as I drive.

    As for going 55,cant do it,you are a rolling roadblock here,even at 75.

    Most patrolman will tell you its not the speed,but the difference in the speed of vehicles that cause more accidents.(of course there are obvious exceptions)

    BooBoo
     
  12. whinnyninny

    whinnyninny Crazy about horses

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    I used to do that sometimes, until I encountered a particularly angry driver that swerved around me, got in front of me, slammed on his brakes HARD, and I went into a ditch. You just cannot tell how some people are going to react.
     
  13. whinnyninny

    whinnyninny Crazy about horses

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    My dad gets 15 mpg in his truck at 70 mph, and 21 mpg at 55. It really makes a big difference! But he has 2 routes to take to work that are equidistant- one is a highway with a 55 mph speed limit, and the other is a freeway with a 70 mph speed limit. He takes the highway.
     
  14. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Downhill,idling,doing about 45- 55 mph in a Jetta VR6,we get 140-200 mpg,at least thats what the MPG guage says,depending on speed.

    My mileage sweetspot is 50-55 MPH.I think I heard thats true for most folks.Ive never been able to do a steady enough speed at lower than that to really check it out.

    BooBoo
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    In Calif. that gets you shot.Really.Road rage and gangbangers=death.Dont do that here.

    BooBoo
     
  16. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    I don't have time right now to set up all the calculations to show it, but most of the power your engine makes when you are at a steady cruise on the highway is to fight aerodynamic resistance (wind resistance). Wind resistance in terms of velocity is a square function, meaning that the resistance increases as the square of your velocity (speed). What this means is that slowing down, even just a few mph on the freeway, can have a surprisingly large affect on your miles per gallon. Of course the actualy difference depends on the vehicle, but a 5mpg gain going from 70mph to 55 is not at all unexpected. Driving 100 miles at 50mph will use much, much less gas than doing it at 100mph. In fact driving it at 100 will use approxamately 4 times the gas as doing it at 50.

    For your own safety, do not put the car in neutral going down a mountian. You need to use engine braking so your normal brakes don't over heat. Put the car in whatever gear you need to maintain a steady speed, only using the service brakes occasonally. This will not use any significant gasoline because the engine is not under load during engine braking. If you rely only on the service brakes to slow you down coming down a mountian, you can easily overheat the brakes, which may cause the brake fluid to boil, introduce vapor into the brake line and cause your brakes to get spongy, fade, or not work at all. This can certianly cause an accident.

    "If my car gets 20mpg" - this usually means your car, on an average trip on an average road in average conditions gets 20mpg. It depends on a lot of things. At any moment during your trip, you may be getting from 1 to 100 miles per gallon. Some cars have a instant mpg meter, which actually shows this. Under acceleration getting on the highway you use a lot of fuel, coasting down to a stop you use very little. But it all averages out over a tank of gas. Since city driving has alot more stop/go than highway, cars are usually rated with city mileage and highway mileage. City mileage is largely dependent on the weight of the vehicle, highway mileage is largely dependent on aerodynamics and driveline efficency.
     
  17. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    I thought that 55mph as the most efficient speed was well established as fact. You can check a number of sites including fueleconomy.gov. Increasing your highway cruising speed from 55mph to 75mph can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. You can improve your gas mileage 10 - 15% by driving at 55mph rather than 65mph.

    Slow down and save.
     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Around a constant 35 is top mpg for most vehicles considering wind resistance and engine rpm.. 45 is a good compromise and will greatly increase engine life over even 55mph. I could easily plan around 45mph trips and not feel unduly burdened, but its suicide with the selfish road rage warriors out there anymore. I drove I-40 last fall and at 65, I was by far the slowest vehicle on the road 99% of the time. Believe me driving a mini car that gets 44mpg at 65 is wonderful financially, but not wonderful to have a double or triple semi one foot off your rear bumper one after another when the weight of your vehicle is a flyspeck compared to his. This is very unsafe driving and should be ticketed. Used to call it tailgating and they would ticket, but not anymore unless it results in an accident.

    If government was actually serious about saving fuel, they would post mandatory 45 mph speed limit AND ENFORCE IT. Want to drive 90, better have a few hundred dollar bills in your wallet when you are stopped.
     
  19. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I know my truck gets its best mileage on the interstate running about 80 or so. Doing 55 of 60 on the two lane drops mileage by several mpg. Town driving drops it a couple more.
     
  20. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Noticed a big slow down on the highways today. Pretty steady - we all went 55 mph - when typically it is 65. The only one passing everybody was a "tinted - windows" Lexus...

    Traffic on the interstate has also dropped dramatically this past week. Trucks are driving slower - not as many passenger cars.

    I had to make a reall effort to keep it at 55 mph and not be tempted to pass. Slow starts, slow stops - even no ac and just cracked the window only a bit (I have a 4 cylinder so it does help)