Very once in a while, someone begins a campaign to reduce gasoline prices by urging everyone not to purchase any gas on a certain date. The preferred date is far enough in the future to permit for a massive e-mail and newscast effort to spread the news far and wide throughout the land and get everyone geared up for the big day. The idea is that the resulting surplus of unsold gas would force distributors to lower the prices in order to be able to unload the stuff. There are two issues with this idea: 1) almost nobody participates and 2) people who do participate purchase their gas the day before or the day after the target date, so the net result is the same amount of gas is sold and the price stays too high.
I have noticed that most drivers completely ignore the speed limit on the freeway. Where I live, the freeway speed limit in town is 65 mph. It’s quite possible to drive that fast in the right hand (“slow”) lane and have people come up on your bumper and provide you an annoyed look as they go around you because they believe you are driving too slowly! 80 miles in the left hand (“fast” or”passing”) lane is normal, as are people in hurry braiding in and out of lanes because they think their time is more important than yours and you are in their way. You might not want to hear this, but such driving wastes gas! The same gas you complain and moan about every time you fill out at the pump becomes wasted out on the freeway by such drivers. Maybe even YOU??? (Nah…)
According to the website Howstuffworks, the ideal mileage can be accomplished by driving between 40-60 mph. Now I am here to tell you that driving 40 miles on the freeway will get you one of three things: 1) a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic 2) to – or getting the cause of – and injury 3) killed. However, driving at 60 mph will not cause any more dirty looks than driving at 65, as long as you remain in the right hand lane. You won’t result in any accidents, and you won’t get a ticket for impeding traffic. Again, according to Howstuffworks, gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. So you’re wasting gas and wasting money by driving faster than 60 mph.
Now I can hear you already:”However, I am late!” Plan ahead, and leave a few minutes earlier. Think about it for a moment. If you drive 65 mph for one whole hour, you’ll only be 5 miles farther down the road that if you drove 60 mph for that exact same hour. Those of you who spend an entire hour commuting are usually not driving 65 miles. You are driving more like 10 miles, crawling along at running speeds. This will not work for that type of commute. But if your drive is such that you have the option of driving faster than 60 mph, DON’T! Set your cruise control at 60 mph, slow down and save.
The great thing about the system is that you benefit from it even if nobody else participates! There is a very real possibility you could fill up your tank one less time per month. That would save you $20-$50 per month, which is $240-$600 per year. Spend it on Christmas presents. Splurge a bit on your vacation. There are lots of ways that you could enjoy the extra money. And if other people participate, because more and more people would be buying one less tank of gas per month, the distribution really would go up because the need really would be down, which would mean lower costs which would benefit everybody (except possibly OPEC, and they don’t want the money.) Try it!