Today, Appelbome writes about driving 55 miles per hour.
The experts say that fuel efficiency deteriorates radically at speeds above 60 miles per hour. Every 5 miles over that threshold is estimated to cost drivers, Mr. Warner said in his letter, “essentially an additional 30 cents per gallon in fuel costs.”
Yesterday I added a comment to a thread of comments on this post, in which I referred to this website, which says:
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.
... While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas....
That's based on gas costing $4.08 per gallon, by the way.
Appelbome goes on to quote a handful of people saying, essentially, that to get them to drive 55, you'd have to pry the steering wheel from their cold, dead fingers:
“It’s unrealistic,” said Darren Jacobs, an engineer from Grantham, N.H., who was driving home from Macungie, Pa. That is a trip of 412 miles, or 6 hours and 47 minutes, according to MapQuest. So assuming 25 miles per gallon, driving at 55 would likely cost 40 minutes and save at least $7. He figured he’d spend the money.
“It’s too slow,” Mr. Jacobs said. “It’s not the way we live. Everything is fast. We eat fast food. We have high-speed Internet. If you’re going from Point A to Point B you want to get there as soon as you can. I don’t think the solution is making us go slower. It’s getting tough on the greedy people who are profiting from this.”
Pete Boucheron, a retiree from Schenectady, N.Y., said, yeah, there’s some logic to 55, but it might have more appeal if prices got really high, say $6 or $7 a gallon. Gustavo Cardenas said he was for it — but then, he’s from Montreal.
Of course this is both baloney and true -- baloney in that all they have to do to change, is change; true in that as long as everyone else is driving 70, they will too.
I think a 55 mile an hour law probably would be a good thing (and of course the speed limit on a lot of roads still is 55 miles per hour).I also continue to believe that a pervasive and clever public service campaign that emphasizes both the amount of money you can save and the amount of greenhouse gases you can avoid emitting would be effective. It's worth a try.