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?