Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Day Forty-Seven - Start Your Engines!

Stop Driving Like I'm in the Monte Carlo Rally

I'm definitely a "Type A" Personality and nowhere does this shine through more than when I'm behind the wheel. I never realized just how aggressive I was though, until last week when my four year old hollered from the backseat "that light's not gonna get any greener, buddy!" followed immediately by "why you not say that this time, Mommy?". Ahhhh, like little sponges, aren't they?

Well, besides the fact that I am almost always carrying really precious cargo with me, driving like an a$$hole also wastes a ton of gas and increases overall wear and tear on my vehicle, thereby decreasing its life expectancy. And so, in the name of the planet, I hereby vow to be a less aggressive, road-raging driver. Here's how:

  1. I will not drive over the speed limit on the highways - For each 5 mph I drive over 60, I lose about 10% in gas mileage.
  2. I will not stomp on the gas like a stock car driver shooting off the starting line - This will save about 3% in gas mileage.
  3. I will not tailgate and then slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the guy in front of me, just to ensure "no budgers" get in - This will save another 3% in gas mileage.

Savings:

All told, if I drop the NASCAR attitude in lieu of a more Zen approach to driving, I should save about 16% in my gas mileage. Combine this with my properly inflated tires, and, in theory, I should be saving 19% in gas mileage. What confuses me, though, is if I take ALL of the tips I see on the web, it looks like at some point I'll actually be PRODUCING gas, and I don't think that's right. I guess you can't believe everything you read anymore ;-) But I digress. Regardless of the actual percentage, I know that driving like a normal person will save gas and any savings is better than none.

Difficulty Level: 4 out of 5

What can I say? Old habits die hard, my friends. This is one change that is going to take a lot of willpower, meditation and excessive curse words whispered softly enough that the kids can't hear them. Fortunately for me, using the horn does not increase my gas consumption, so I'm still allowed to point out other drivers' mistakes to them. That is how they will learn.

1 comment:

Heather said...

As you know, I always pick on the Briguy for doing the horn-preparedness dance. He's just a little too excited anytime he gets to use it. It's like he's begging them to pull out in front of him.

On our way to Chico's wedding, I saw him bristle up as he saw a red sporty car poking it's nose toward HIS ROAD. He speedily swept his horn hand to the wheel. . . and then slowly lowered it as we approached and he read the sign "FOR SALE" on the window of the EMPTY car.

He wouldn't look me in the eye, but he knew that *I* noticed.

I chuckled heartily.