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   07.02.08 || Save Gas

When driving this summer, remember that slowing down can really add up.
Be Safe.
85% of work zone crashes in Illinois injure motorists, not workers.
Be Wise.
Keep tires properly inflated - fuel economy decreases by 10-20% when your tires are low.
Save Gas.
Every 5 mph you go above 60 mph is like spending $0.22 more per gallon for gas.
Save Lives.
In Illinois, an average of 7,000 crashes occur in highway work zones every year.

Wait, what? Save gas? Really?

To: Illinois Tollway Media Questions
From: Phil

I just received the Illinois Tollway newsletter about construction and safety. It's an interesting letter I just had one question regarding it, the "Save Gas" statement on it. It said "Save gas, Every 5 mph you go above 60 mph is like spending $0.22 more per gallon for gas." Could I get the source to where this fact came from? Could you supply the data that supports this statement?

Thanks for your help.

Do you believe this statement? I can see that it is somewhat true, but I want proof. Speeds above ~45 mph affect gas mileage but only because of wind resistance. That is if there was no wind resistance, it would be the same gas to go 5 mph as it would be to go 100 mph. So this said, how can they relate such a general statement to the cost of gas? What price are they paying for the gas? What vehicle are they considering? Is this a car? Truck? SUV? Semi? Airplane?

Aerodynamics is critical to the gas mileage you get at higher speeds. I have a 2002 Grand AM GT 3.4L V6 and as a test I drove no more than 70mph, for just over 300 miles (Chicago to Detroit), and I got 33.6 miles per gallon. Granted 200 of those miles I never stopped, but this is what your “highway miles” should be rated at. According to the window sticker that came with my car, it is rated at 20 city and 29 highway. So how can I get over 29 mpg? Well this is what happens when you reduce the gas consuming habits in driving.

Taking off fast, stopping at traffic lights, sitting in traffic, repeatedly speeding up/slowing down, all cause low gas mileage. You can see this topic comes back, Traffic Lights.

I would like to see the Illinois Tollway Newsletter say “If we eliminate unnecessary traffic lights and time the ones that are in use, make roads that can handle the traffic better, we will save you $300/year on gas” because that is as much true as their statement above. Granted they aren’t in control of traffic lights, only toll booths (to take your money in another way), but still.

Not to get too off topic but my car is rather aerodynamic, which lets me go faster and still get good gas mileage. If your driving your new Hummer at 70 mph, guess what, you’ll get bad gas mileage. Hummers are good for doing 15 mph over sand and rocks in the mountains, or driving through 3 feet of water, but not for doing 70 on IL roads. Hell, the Hummer is not even good for doing 15 through downtown traffic. That is unless your driving through the Chicago river, then it’d pay off getting that Hummer.

So moral to the story, don’t give fallacies, give real facts: Stopping less saves more than not going over 60 mph.

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