Last year, UPS saved more than three million gallons of gas by avoiding left turns. Because the time spent idling at traffic lights was reduced, the shipping giant improved gas mileage in its famous brown trucks and saved money in the process.
The average consumer won’t save quite so much, but simple changes to your driving habits can help you to get the best gas mileage for your vehicle. The Department of Energy along with the Department of Environmental Protection offer several tips for improving your gas mileage at Fueleconomy.gov.
- Drive more efficiently. If you observe the speed limit and drive sensibly you’ll be more likely to reach optimal fuel economy. Remove excess weight, avoid idling, use cruise control when possible and use overdrive gears to help even more.
- Keep your car in shape. Keep your engine tuned, check and replace air filters, keep tires properly inflated and use the right grade of motor oil.
- Plan trips. Spend less time sitting in traffic by avoiding rush hour on daily commutes, or try car pooling or public transportation. On longer trips, leave excess items at home and pack everything in the trunk to keep the vehicle light and reduce drag.
If you’re driving a gas-guzzler, a more fuel-efficient vehicle may also be an option. Check out the list of 2008’s most fuel-efficient model year vehicles.