Red light cameras found to cause more accidents
Red light cameras found to cause more accidentsEnlarge Photo
It also means being considerate to other road users. After all, it's no use you saving a few drops of fuel here and there if your driving is making other drivers waste gallons of the stuff.
7 - Read the road
This ties into the point above, but while you're keeping an eye out for other traffic, consider the road conditions too. Hills are a good place to start. They're poor for fuel-sipping driving if you're going up them, but great if you're going down the other side. Ease off the gas on the way up so you're not using as much fuel (though not enough that you hold up traffic behind), and accelerate down the other side for easy momentum with less fuel required.
Traffic signals up ahead? Ease off the gas early, and you may even find the light turns green before you reach it.
8 - Turn it off
Unavoidably stuck in traffic? Consider turning the engine off. Having the engine running while it's not powering you anywhere is a sure-fire way to waste fuel.
Of course, don't try this if your car's best years are behind it and it may not re-start again--even worse than wasting a little fuel is being stuck in the middle of a five-lane freeway while everyone else is moving again...
9 - Use equipment sparingly
We're not about to suggest you stop using your air conditioning while you drive through Death Valley, but it may not need to be on max the whole time. Likewise, if you're driving the city streets at lower speeds, you may save some gas by opening the windows instead. At higher speeds, use AC instead of opening windows, for the aerodynamic benefits.
Try and avoid using headlights unless the road conditions demand it too--they can be a big drain on power, which uses more fuel.
10 - Slow down!
Believe it or not, one of the best ways of improving your gas mileage is simply to travel a little slower. At lower speeds, there's less resistance on the tires, less aerodynamic drag, and your engine isn't working has hard. That all leads to lower fuel usage.
Even if you only drop your speed by 5mph, you may be surprised how much gas you save over a longer distance, without really noticing the handful of extra minutes a journey may take. A 60 mile journey at 60mph takes sixty minutes. A 60 mile journey at 55mph only takes about 5.5 minutes longer, but you'll have saved some useful extra fuel.