Monday, 19 April 2010
Just checking in again, it's been about a year since I started driving
55 on my 2009 Toyota Corolla. I'm still getting about 40 MPH combined
on an EPA Hwy estimate of 30 MPH. An extra benefit that hadn't occurred
to me until I took the car for it's 30K maintenance is the reduced wear
and tear. My brakes were still in great shape probably because I
seldom have a need them while I'm on the highway. I'm sure other parts
of the car are benefiting from the lower stress driving.
As for tailgaters, I drive on the far right lane at times when traffic
is light. If they can't figure a way around me with two open lanes to
the left, I guess I can help them save some gas.
Saturday, 06 February 2010
In 1975, annual traffic fatalities dropped by 9100 when the
nation was saddled with a national speed limit of 55 mph.
9100 deaths prevented – in one
Let’s put this in
9100 is more than twice
the number killed by earthquakes and tsunamis in all recorded U.S history. (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/us_deaths.php)
Undoubtedly, millions of gallons of gas were saved (I’m
tracking down the actual estimate, but trust me – it’s big). But as soon as it could, America
shrugged off this onerous restriction in favor of the old higher speed
In the face of such common sense benefits, why would states
and localities return to more dangerous and expensive practices? They are always reaching into our
personal lives to regulate everything they can, so why would they be so eager
to give us back our right to rush breakneck around the highways, wasting gas
and killing each other with our cars?
There is a time-honored adage in America that pertains to
solving such riddles:
Follow The Money.
Who profits from America’s love affair with highway
speed? The lion’s share of the
money we waste driving 70-75 on our freeways goes straight to Exxon-Mobil,
ARCO, Unocal, Conoco-Philips, and the rest of America’s huge oil/gasoline
How much money?
conservative math (see my posting titled “Some Simple Math, Part 2”) suggests
that if only 1% of American drivers agreed to DRIVE THE LIMITS for one year,
we’d save about 140,000,000 gallons of gas. At a gas price of $2.80 per gallon, that’s
$392,000,000. At $3, it’s
$420,000,000. A savings of
half-a-billion dollars is not at all out of reach. With higher participation and higher gas prices, we could
easily save a multiple of that.
Maybe a BIG multiple.
So consider how much profit Big Oil lost when an entire
nation was forced to drive 55.
Tens of billions of dollars, easy.
Does this begin to explain why old speed limits were
restored, when the benefits of the newer, slower ones were obvious to any
Change Your Driving Habits. Change The World.
Friday, 02 October 2009
Kansas City Missouri to McAlester Oklahoma the end of September. Mercury Monterey minivan. epa mileage says 17mpg city/23mpg highway. Filled tank in Kansas City. reset trip odometer & gps. set cruise at 55mph for entire trip. Filled up in McAlester upon arrival. 330 miles. 10 gallons put in. 33mpg!! On return trip back to Kansas City I did the exact same thing. Had a slight tail wind this time but kept cruise set at 55. 330 miles traveled, refilled again upon return, only used 9 gallons. 36mpg!!
Kansas City, MO
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
I just purchased my 2009 Chevy HHR a few weeks ago. I am currently on the vehicles first highway trip. As is normal, I've been keeping to my 55 mph rule. This vehicle is proving to be a stunning performer for fuel mileage. This vehicle has the 2.2L flex fuel capable four cylinder engine and 5 speed manual transmission. My initial stretch between my home and Amarillo, TX., netted 38.3 mpg by the car's computer. When double checking the computer with a calculator, the calculator showed 39.1 mpg! This is not to be outdone. As I pulled into the driveway of my folks house in the car's computer was posting 40.4 mpg. If the computer is being consistent, and has posted a figure .8 mpg lower than calculated, this will result in a figure of 41.2 for the stretch. This is all uphill from the Texas area. I have included a picture of the computer with the car in the driveway.
Ed note: EPA MPGfor this vehicle is: 22 City / 32 Hwy
Friday, 31 July 2009
I'm glad to see this website and to see a small group of politicians supporting reduced speed limits.
I drive a reverse commute, I live in the city and work in the suburbs. About 2 months ago I started taking the "scenic" route to and from work. Instead of the interstate I take the side streets and country roads where the top speeds range from 40 to 55. I mainly made the change because it's a prettier more relaxing drive.
The trip takes on average only 10 minutes longer but the difference in fuel economy was amazing even when I knew it would make a difference. My Millenium Bug (2000 Beetle) went from averaging 30MPG to averaging 35MPG. My '02 MR2 went from 35MPG to almost 40MPG and my '04 BMW R1150R is getting 59MPG. And a third of the trip has stoplights!
It has never ceased to amaze me how many people seriously believe speed does not affect gas mileage.
The explanation I always use is this. Stick your hand out the window at 55MPH and then at 75MPH. Compare how much harder it is to hold it straight in the wind. That's how much harder the engine in your car is having to work.
I fully support a return to a national 55MPH speed limit. We've become a nation in a perpetual hurry. Slowing down a little, not just on the freeways will do us a lot of good.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
I don't have an exact speed because this included all city and highway
driving. I followed the basic rules, don't exceed the speed limit but
I did on occasion exceed 55 if I determined that safety may be an issue.
I made a tracking form in Excel, but since I couldn't attach it, here is the data in text form.
5/9/2009 5/16/2009 5/23/2009 5/28/2009 6/4/2009
Miles 397 412.6 408.7 405.5 440.1 2063.9
Fuel/Gal. 10.09 10.11 9.844 9.893 10.413 50.35
MPG 39.3 40.8 41.5 41.0 42.3 41.0
Cost $23.61 $24.66 $25.58 $26.11 $28.10 $128.06
Price/Gal. $2.34 $2.44 $2.60 $2.64 $2.70 $2.54
Base MPG 33 33 33 33 33 33
Base Fuel 12.03 12.50 12.38 12.29 13.34 62.54
Base Cost $28.15 $30.50 $32.18 $32.43 $35.99 $159.07
Savings $4.54 $5.84 $6.60 $6.32 $7.89 $31.01
% Cost Reduction 16% 19% 21% 19% 22% 19%
Tin Cheung, TX
Friday, 29 May 2009
In synch with the new vehicle fuel efficiency
standards, I strongly recommend that a national maximum speed limit of about 60
mph be implemented ASAP for ALL vehicles. Such a limit would yield
IMMEDIATE benefits with EXISTING vehicles including:
- Greater fuel efficiency
- Reduced emissions
- Improved highway safety.
Future vehicle technologies and designs would be
more easily facilitated, simplified and cost reduced because top speeds
affect power sources, gearing, brakes, tires, crash protection features,
Automobiles are most fuel-efficient between 45 and
60 mph. Large trucks lose fuel efficiency over 50 mph.
However, 70 mph is the typical maximum auto speed limit (with parts of
Texas and Utah having 80 mph).
Congress is unlikely to initiate and pass the
needed, common sense legislation in a timely manner. A 60 / 65 mph bill proposed about a year ago by Representative
Jackie Speier, et al died in committee when the last Congress closed. With
other countries hoping for increased U.S. leadership on climate change and
sustainability, non-elected officials with technical backgrounds (like yourself
and NASA's Dr. James E. Hansen) must take a strong initiative based on
Donald H. Albertson (retired industrial
Contact the Energy Secretary:
||You can send an email to the Secretary of Energy
1-202-586-5000 (Main Switchboard)
National Phone Directory
||U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
Monday, 02 March 2009
38 mpg on my first tank of gas for my 2009 Honda Civic 4 door LX model, 1.8L engine with automatic transmission. 375 miles @ 9.848 gallons. Mostly highway at 55mph.
Baton Rouge, LA
Friday, 02 January 2009
The trip to Honesdale from Ossining is estimated by Google maps to be 108 miles and about 2½ hours in duration. I took this trip with my wife this summer to attend a wedding, and it took us about 30-40 minutes longer than the google estimate. The reason being that I tried to travel at least five miles below the speed limit on every road and travel at 45 mph on I-287 and I-84. Let me assure you from the start, the idea of traveling at 45 mph on the interstate did not work. Even at 55 (the new upper limit I set on the trip) it felt scary when semis, at their 75-80 mph speed and tens of thousands of pounds of mass, bore down on our little Toyota Corolla.
Thursday, 25 December 2008
I recently took an 1100 mile road trip in my 1996 Lincoln Town Car driving at a maximum of 55. At the end of my trip my average fuel economy came out to be 31.5mpg. If that isn't proof that 55mph uses less gas then I don't know what is. I mean this is a Lincoln Town Car for crying out loud!! And I'm getting numbers in the 30's! Also, my dad drove his 2001 Lincoln Town Car from Barstow, CA to Needles, CA at 55 and he averaged 33mpg.
This trip was all interstate where the speed limit was as high as 75 for the majority of the trip. And there I was sitting in the right lane crusing at 55. Some people may say that's insane and illegal. Well let me tell you that it's not. The thing to remember is that the minimum speed on the interstate is 45. And one of the bigger things to remember is that the vast majority of the other drivers out there will simply pass without incident. Even if they have to wait behind you for a minute before they have the chance to pass. But yes, there are also the others (the jerks) that will blare their horn at you even if you are in the right lane. In my case the three drivers that did this were semi truck drivers. Also on my trip, I was pulled over by the cops because they thought it was suspicious that I was driving 55 in a 75. I explained to him that I was simply getting better gas mileage at 55. I asked if it was legal and the officer told me "yes" but he was concerned about the other cars moving faster than me.
So with that said, it's good that you guys offer bumper stickers to inform and warn other drivers of what you are doing. Especially for cops so they won't pull you over.
Sunday, 12 October 2008
A national 55pph speed limit can lead to real savings now. I can get behind this because I know driving slower works. I drive a 1996 Land Rover Discovery with a V8. When tested back in '96 they said that it would get 13 mpg in the city and 16 mpg in the highway. I average just over 15 mpg and 19.6 on longer highway trips like I did to Disneyland 3 days ago...with 4 people in the car!
It sure beats the hell out of a few other .orgs that are trying to get me to pressure congress for electric cars and alt-fuels. Congress has never produced a single car or a drop of fuel. That is the job of business and markets, I mean if you don't want a $2,000,000 car that is half as good...LOL!
Now laws...that they do all day long. Let's have the 55 speed limit!
Wednesday, 01 October 2008
I am a 27 year old male born and raised right here in Sacramento. The overwhelming social influence I was subjected to during my youth was that environmentalists were invariably card carrying socialists and anything that wasn't a V8 with a manual transmission was not only un-American but was solid grounds for questioning someone’s manhood. My father saved me from all of that by imbuing me with the foundations I needed to question the norm and develop my own understandings of the world. But it still took me a while to shed the socially imposed shackles and raise my head above the fog.
My first car was a 1984 Corvette that I had for only two months, the
second was a 1989 Camaro RS. I had an irrational need for speed and was
only under 55 when at the pump or in the driveway. I joined the
military at 19 and soon after that I purchased my third car, a 1994
Corvette ZR-1, this didn’t help my speed problem.
Sunday, 07 September 2008
I've been doing the 55 mph routine long before I found this site. I've owned hybrid cars with the built in mileage computers, and had made it a game to push the graphics ever higher, and log ever higher figures into my sheets. I no longer have the hybrid cars, but still keep to the 55 mph rule. Case in point, my current ride, which is a 2008 Chevy Impala 2LT with the 3.9L V6 that cuts down to three cyilnders under low load conditions. Tonight on the way home, I've posted a new high number - 33.8 mpg by the car's computer. This isn't via a solid nonstop highway drive either. I have about 15 traffic lights on my 50 mile commute to get through, and three of them still managed to get me to come to a full stop, despite the late night hour that is my drive time home. I have a photo of the car's mileage computer as proof:
EPA MPG rating on this car is 18 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, 22 mpg combined
I am writing tonight to give an update on my efforts to push my fuel
economy to new heights on my 2008 Impala. Tonight, not only did I beat
my old record of 33.8, I practically shattered it. I pulled into my
driveway after my drive home from work, to find the mileage readout
posting a new high of 34.9 mpg. That is not all, for a while, it was
showing as high as 35.3 mpg, before the hills in my immediate area took
their toll on the numbers. As with my first email, I have a photo of
I don't care that the price of gas has been coming down as of late.
Maintaining my rule of driving no faster than 55 mph, combined with the
recent downward trend in prices at the pump (I will not call it "cheap"
untill we see pre-Katrina prices, and I'm not holding my breath for
that) both combine to further help give my fuel budget a bit of a break.
Update January 4, 2009
Once again, I write back to share another experience of keepting to a
maximum speed of 55 mph. I recently just returned from a holiday visit
to family over the Christmas and New Year's holiday. The drive up to
Colorado included a battle with headwinds, and resulted in a none too
remarkable 32.3 and 31.7 mpg respectively out of the two tanks of gas
purchased for the approximately 750 mile drive.
My drive home however, would prove to be much more fruitful. The temps
were warm (almost too warm) and winds more favorable for the return
trip. I topped off the tank before heading down the highway, and set
the cruise to the requisite 55 mph speed. As the miles ticked by, the
computer kept gradually climbing higher, as the "AFM" system in my
Impala took every possible opportunity to turn the V6 engine into a V3.
By the time I entered into the Texas panhandle area out of New Mexico,
the mileage computer was solidly locked into the 36 mpg figure. Still
the computer would notch upwards a couple of more ticks by the time I
began to see Amarillo on the horizon. Needless to say, I was thrilled
to see my full size car enter into fuel economy territory occupied by
the Chevy Aveo. As Amarillo was my planned city to stop for gas, I
pulled into the Pilot Truckstop located at I-40 and Loop 335. When I
shut off the ignition, the computer was showing 36.5 mpg. As with all
of my record mileage claims, I've included a picture of the computer:
This number was obtained after a 437 mile drive.
The rest of my drive home would still prove the merits of keeping my
speed to 55, and letting the car's cylinder deactivation make the most
of itself. The continuing drive down US 287 to the DFW area includes
lots of little towns to slow down through. The mileage computer still
posted a very respectable 35 mpg, despite having traffic lights to
contend with in the small towns.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
I am a retired police officer and was working the east side of Tampa during the first mandatory 55 mph limit. Prior to this, we experienced about 2 fatalities per week on I-275 and I-4, a lot of injuries and extensive vehicle damage. After the reduced speed (as they said, strictly enforced), we dropped to about 2 fatalities per month, a reduction in injuries and property damage. I know that people are bored while driving at 55 but consideration for the safety of others must come before being entertained while driving. Speed does kill and too often.
Al Ratliff Jr.
Retired TPD Corporal
Thank you Officer Ratliff! More about speeding and safety is published in the Safety section of this website.
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