Reformed Speed Queen

Ever since I got my license over 20 (ack!) years ago, I’ve been a bit of a speed freak. In fact, after having my license for barely a week, I got my first speeding ticket. I haven’t received too many tickets over the years considering how rarely I followed the speed limit, though. Charming officers of the law might have had a little something to do with that. ;-) My driving just went along with my personality – I was always wanting bigger, faster, more – the typical addict, I suppose. Even after getting into recovery, my driving didn’t really follow suit with all of the other personality changes. I just never felt compelled to drive slower.

However, that all changed last week. I read an article in the Reader’s Digest about Wayne Gerdes, the World’s Most Fuel-Efficient Driver. You can read the story on Mother Jones. The thing that really triggered Wayne to be more fuel efficient was 9/11 and the realization of America’s fuel addiction. My longer daily commute combined with this country’s current state of affairs prompted me to finally change my ways. While I’m not going to get fanatical like this guy – he does some crazy stuff! – I am taking a lot of the practical ideas and applying them with some great results. Basically I’m not driving over 60-65 mph, I’m not breaking or starting suddenly and I’m turning into your typical granny driver. So far I’ve seen a 10% increase in fuel savings. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. And you know what’s funny? My commute has been a whopping 5 minutes longer. All of that racing in and out of lanes, zipping around to be “first” didn’t really get me very far, I’m finding out.

I’m getting a great deal of satisfaction out of knowing I’m doing my part to reduce the fuel addiction in this country. Now if only everyone else would follow suit, we’d make a real impact. I want to take a copy of the article I read and throw it into all of the cars flying past me on the roads. I know I didn’t feel compelled to change just to follow the law, but when the bigger social and economical issues came into play, I changed my tune real quick.

Next time you’re flying down the highway, remember this stuff, won’t you?

11 Responses to “Reformed Speed Queen”

  1. techie says:

    Interesting take on driving slower. One more reason to keep doing what I’m doing. I personally just drive the speed limit. My comfort level when I don’t have to even worry about a cop is so much better because of it.

    My favorite time is when someone speeds past you and then you catch up or pass them at the next light. I always look over and think “idiot.” See what all that speeding did for you.

  2. geeky says:

    I was just reading that article last night! Really interesting stuff. I’m pretty good at driving that way around town, but I really struggle with driving anything less than 75 on the highway. But we have a Prius, so I feel like I’m excused a little bit :)

  3. corrin says:

    very interesting, though i think taking an exit ramp at over 50 mph is a little extreme (if not dangerous). my commute has gone from 1 mile a day to 70 miles a day, so i’m constantly looking for ways to cut down on our fuel intake since buying a new prius isn’t in the cards for us.

  4. Jules says:

    You know, thanks for pointing this out. It’s something I have never thought about before.

  5. Christine says:

    Congrats on the fuel savings! That’s a really interesting perspective on things. Imagine how great it would be if we all made this change!

  6. Holly says:

    My boyfriend just did a lot of research on how to get the most at the gas pump and save money. He found out that the best time of the day to get gas is right in the morning because it’s just being taken out of the tank underground and hasn’t mixed too much with the water that is mixed into it and that if you pump your gas slow, you get more–so the extra minute or two pumping gas could potentially save you a pretty good chunk of change.

  7. ally says:

    These are great tips. I don’t have my driver’s license yet (Yea, I know – I’m a big fat loser.) I’ll definitely keep this in mind. I’m all about saving money. Gas prices are absolutely ridiculous!

  8. Bob Liddle says:

    Many people are inspired by watching movies like fast and furious and movies like that.But what I feel that we should not drive fast unless its very much important.

  9. ally says:

    I could’ve sworn I commented on this post already, but it’s not posted so maybe I’m crazy.

    Thank you for pointing us in the direction of this article! Some of it is a bit crazy, but they’re great tips nonetheless. I don’t have my license yet, but I’ll be sure to keep them in mind once I get it. :)

  10. ronny says:

    I’d like to say that I don’t enjoy driving fast, but I’d be lying… so truthfully.. the only reason I don’t drive faster is because I’m afraid of being caught by the ever increasing amount of traffic police.. needless to say, I’m not a ‘weaver’, I don’t talk on the cell when driving and I consider myself to be considerate of others on the road… so i’m not all bad…

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