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More on driving the speed limit

2 April 2008

CNN Money and Yahoo Finance collaborated on this great article about the financial benefits of driving the speed limit:

Pushing air around actually takes up about 40% of a car’s energy at highway speeds, according to Roger Clark, a fuel economy engineer for General Motors.

Traveling faster makes the job even harder. More air builds up in front of the vehicle, and the low pressure “hole” trailing behind gets bigger, too. Together, these create an increasing suction that tends to pull back harder and harder the faster you drive. The increase is actually exponential, meaning wind resistance rises much more steeply between 70 and 80 mph than it does between 50 and 60.

Every 10 mph faster reduces fuel economy by about 4 mpg, a figure that remains fairly constant regardless of vehicle size, Clark said.

So, again – driving 55 mph on the freeway means saving money (both in gas and in avoiding speeding tickets), is safer for you and all the other drivers on the road and is better for the environment.  It’s a win-win-win situation – and it doesn’t cost you a dime to try it out.

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