According to all the experts, acceleration burns fuel and coasting conserves it. (On-board computers make this easy to see.)
The longer you can maintain forward momentum, the less fuel you will consume. According to fueleconomy.gov, that terrific government Web site that breaks down in dollars and cents just how much fuel you waste, “Rapid acceleration and braking wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money. Fuel economy benefit: 5–33 percent.”
So what are some of the causes of unnecessary braking and acceleration?
- Illegally posted stop signs and traffic lights, especially the ones that are not coordinated
- Unnecessary speed bumps, humps and roundabouts, “neckdowns,” and curb extensions
- Speed traps designed to generate revenue or to appease residents
Anyway, if we eliminate unnecessary braking and acceleration due to these factors, according to our government the equivalent gasoline savings would equal $0.18– $1.16/gallon. And that’s a substantial chunk of change.