Driving Fast Costs More Than You Think

You might think that since driving faster saves you time on the road, it saves you gas as well. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

The EPA has found that every car has a peak fuel efficiency around 50 mph. When you drive over — or under — 50 mph, you aren’t getting as many miles per gallon. Instead, you’re paying more to drive the same distance. According to fueleconomy.gov, a site run by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy, there’s a different way to evaluate your fuel costs.

For the average Californian, every 5 mph over 50 mph is essentially costing you an extra $0.25 per gallon. At 70 mph, you are spending about $1 extra per gallon of gas. As if that weren’t enough, speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid breaking could cost you an additional $1 per gallon. Driving slower than 50 mph costs more per gallon, too. Use this simple tracker from fueleconomy.gov to find out how much it costs to drive your specific vehicle at different speeds.

Consider driving at a relaxed pace on the highway and walking or bicycling if you’re traveling around town. Not only will you save money, you’ll also help the environment. Reducing gas consumption reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions. Learn other simple ways to improve your fuel efficiency with this list of tips from fueleconomy.gov.