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ACTIONS: Practice "smart" actions and behaviors while you’re behind the wheel
Shell understands that motorists want practical tips to help make their fuel purchases go further. Here are some ways to incorporate Smarter Driving in to your everyday routine.
Drive smoothly - Avoid heavy acceleration or braking. Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gasoline mileage by 5 percent at lower speeds around town and by 33 percent at highway speeds. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than just money.*
Conserve momentum and keep your distance - Think ahead when you’re driving. For example, slow down early to let traffic lights change, rather than stopping completely, or speed up a little before you reach the foot of a hill. Leave a sensible distance between yourself and the car ahead to give you ample time to brake evenly.**
Use cruise control - Maintaining a constant speed on major roads and in free flowing traffic can improve gasoline mileage.*
Avoid higher speeds - While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. According to www.fueleconomy.gov, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.26 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer.*
Avoid idling - When you idle, you get zero miles-per-gallon. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use.*
Plan your outings and avoid separate trips - Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and running more efficiently, and it can reduce the distance you travel.
Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to use less fuel. Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours, or consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it.
If you must commute, take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You may be able to cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes which are typically less congested, further improving your fuel economy.*
Use overdrive gears - When you use overdrive, your car's engine speed goes down. This uses less gas and reduces engine wear.*
Use air conditioning sparingly - Air conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses fuel to operate, so limit use to particularly hot days. On high temperature days consider using the fan instead.**