Looking for an easy way to make your commute a little more eco-friendly? If you want to green up your daily drive then slow down, lead foot. Faster isn’t always better, especially when it comes to saving gas.
The national speed limit was set to 55 mph in 1974 as a way to save gas during the fuel shortages of the 1970s. Unfortunately, as oil prices dropped again cheap gas prices followed and by 1996 the law was repealed. However, there is evidence that slowing down can save gas by improving fuel economy.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, fuel economy drops by about one percent for each mile per hour above 60. This is not new information. The Department of Transportation conducted tests in 1997 showing that going from 70 to 60 miles per hour can save gas at a rate of 17.2 percent. Slowing down to 55 mph can result in a staggering 30.6 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
You don’t have to buy a hybrid to go green on the road. Better fuel efficiency is possible with the car you have now — just slow down and drive 55.