Slow down to save fuel and CO2

With petrol and diesel prices at record prices, I decided it was time to try and save a bit more money to off-set these pump rises.  Why do we rush around all, especially when going to work, or places that we don’t need to get to quickly?

I have a 13 mile journey to work, which is split into 3 miles of urban 30mph and then 6 miles of single carriageway 60mph and finally 4 miles of dual carriageway 70mph.  But of course these speeds are the legal limits and not the speeds at which you must drive. 

In the urban areas, you would definitely get up people’s noses driving slower, but on the extra-urban roads, slowing down 10mph will basically mean driving at speeds similar to the heavy goods.  Research from the Department of Transport suggests that driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.  Obviously this varies from vehicle to vehicle.  But the idea is the same.

So reasons to slow down

1) Avoid getting points on your license

2) Reduce wear and tear on your car, the brakes, tyres and clutch especially

3) Less likely to have or cause and accident, especially in adverse weather conditions

4) Overall saving in the wallet

5) Better for the environment, but remember any travel is harmful

So back to my daily commute

If I assumed that I didn’t want to slow down during the urban section, that leaves 10 miles averaging 65mph at the current limits.  This part of the journey takes on average 9 mins 15 seconds.  If I reduced my speed by 10%,  i.e. averaging 58.5mph this same journey would take almost exactly 1 minute longer.  Say I’m getting 45mpg increasing this by 9% that equates to an increase of 4mpg.  So over a week, 130 miles per week.  At the initial consumption, that is 2.88 gallons per week £(17.40).  But at the newer better consumption rate, this would be 2.62 gallons per week (£15.82).  Taking me an extra 2 minutes per day or 10 mins per week.

So with the other benefits in mind, I’d say well worth it.