With gas prices continually rising, just about every driver is looking for ways to cut down on monthly fuel costs. One of the best ways to combat the escalating prices is to use an all-around better approach to driving. That’s why more people have begun using a “smooth driving” approach that enables them to save big at the pump.
Smooth driving is achieved when a person drives at a steady speed and effectively uses the vehicle’s momentum along with avoiding the constant need to accelerate and brake while on the road. By doing this, drivers save a lot of fuel despite going the same average speed as an aggressive driver who would constantly brake and accelerate his or her vehicle.
Using this smooth driving style allows for an uninterrupted and easy flowing ride within traffic, and taking advantage of a vehicle’s cruise control function on highways is one way to support this. This style of driving eradicates speed peaks and unexpected braking that not only wastes fuel, but also causes unnecessary stress for the driver, along with everyone else on the road.
High RPM Means Lower MPG
Driving at a high speed and increasing the engines RPM for extended stretches results in significantly increased fuel consumption. Instances like city driving with high traffic are a perfect example of this. Despite external forces like traffic lights or a high volume of traffic, many drivers still attempt to increase their average speed to make up for lost time. It is nearly impossible to beat all of these factors, and the result is a much lower MPG for the engine. Instead, drivers should go with the traffic flow and resist suddenly accelerating their engines for minimal gains in combating the traffic.
Smooth Driving Tactics
Make use of the vehicle’s momentum by letting the energy already expended by the car do the majority of the work. The overall goal here is to let the car roll and drive a steady speed whenever it is possible. This momentum can be used while in gear or in neutral.
- Don’t over-brake, just let the car roll. By letting the car roll in gear, you allow the speed of the vehicle to reduce on its own and decrease the amount of brake pressure you need to apply.
- Engage the clutch while the car is rolling. This works in situations when the drive will soon be continued in the same gear and eliminates the need for braking, which reduces the engine’s fuel efficiency.
- Shift into a higher gear as quickly as possible. When driving at a medium or high engine RPM, the engine consumes far more fuel than at a low RPM. This is why shifting early is recommended.