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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Way To Really Lower The Price Of Gasoline
Every once in a while, someone starts a campaign to lower gasoline prices by urging everyone not to purchase any gas on a certain date. The chosen date is far enough in the future to allow for a massive e-mail and newscast campaign to spread the news far and wide throughout the land and get everyone geared up for the big day. The idea is that the resulting surplus of unsold gas would force distributors to lower the prices in order to be able to unload the stuff. There are two problems with that idea: 1) almost no one participates and 2) those who do participate buy their gas either the day before or the day after the target date, so the net result is the same amount of gas is sold and the price stays too high.
I have noticed that most drivers completely ignore the speed limit on the freeway. Where I live, the freeway speed limit in the city is 65 mph. It is quite possible to drive that fast in the right hand (“slow”) lane and have people come up on your bumper and give you an annoyed look as they go around you because they think you are driving too slowly! 80 mph in the left hand (“fast” or “passing”) lane is normal, as are people in hurry braiding in and out of lanes because they think their time is more important than yours and you are in their way. You might not want to hear this, but such driving wastes gas! The same gas you complain and moan about every time you fill out at the pump gets wasted out on the freeway by such drivers. Maybe even YOU??? (Nah………..)
According to the website Howstuffworks (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question477.htm), the best mileage can be achieved by driving between 40-60 mph. Now I’m here to tell you that driving 40 mph on the freeway will get you one of three things: 1) a ticket for impeding the flow of traffic 2) into - or becoming the cause of - and accident 3) killed. However, driving at 60 mph won’t cause any more dirty looks than driving at 65, as long as you stay in the right hand lane. You won’t cause any accidents, and you won’t get a ticket for impeding traffic. Again, according to Howstuffworks (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/framed.htm?parent=question477.htm&url=http://www.fueleconomy.gov/), gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. So you are wasting gas and wasting money by driving faster than 60 mph.
Now I can hear you already: “But, I’m late!” Plan ahead, and leave a couple of minutes earlier. Think about it for a minute. If you drive 65 mph for one whole hour, you will only be 5 miles farther down the road that if you drove 60 mph for that same hour. Those of you who spend a whole hour commuting are usually not driving 65 miles. You are driving more like 10 miles, crawling along at jogging speeds. This won’t work for that sort of commute. However, if your drive is such that you have the option of driving faster than 60 mph, DON’T! Set your cruise control at 60 mph, slow down and save.
The beauty of this system is that you benefit from it even if no one else participates! There is a very real possibility that you could fill up your tank one less time per month. That would save you $20-$50 per month, which is $240-$600 per year. Spend it on Christmas presents. Splurge a little on your vacation. There are lots of ways you could enjoy the extra money. And if other people participate, because more and more people would be buying one less tank of gas per month, the supply really would go up because the demand really would be down, and that would mean lower prices which would benefit everybody (except maybe OPEC, and they don‘t need the money.) Try it!
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