AskPatty’s Tips to #Green Your Car and Save Gas: Observe the Speed Limit – Use Your Cruise Control
On average, every single mile per hour increase over 50 mph reduces your fuel economy by .1 miles per gallon.
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Did you know? Cruise control technology was originally invented in 1788 by James Watt and Mathew Boulton to help control steam engines. Thanks are due to Ralph Teetor, a blind mechanical engineer, who refined refined the technology in 1945 to invent today’s modern automotive cruise control. Thanks to Ralph, this handy feature now makes long drives easier, keeps our speed constant, and even helps us save money.
In Edmunds.com green driving tests, using cruise control revealed up to 14% savings in fuel economy with an average savings of 7%. Here's an important note, according to eSurance.com: if you are in a mountainous area you should turn off cruise. It will try to keep you up to the speed you've set and use a lot of extra gas downshifting to lower gears to accomplish this. Also, don't use it when driving in slippery conditions like icy roads, during and after the first rain of the season, or during downpours or hailstorms. Also, don't use it late at night or when you’re tired: When you’re sleepy, cruise control can quickly turn into snooze control.
You're even better off if you're driving a car equipped with adaptive cruise control. These systems allow the driver to set a desired speed while the system automatically reads traffic and keeps your car at a safe following distance from the car in front of you, braking and accelerating as needed to automatically keep the pre-set speed and distance.