I’ve been called by some a “grandpa” on the road. They mean to say that most grandpas are old men, and that most old men drive slowly. Well, I’m not sure that’s a logical argument, but I admit that I do drive slower than most.
Today I’d like to make the case that “driving slowly” (aka, going the speed limit) and using cruise control can actually save you money.
How Using Cruise Control Saves You Money
1. Cruise control helps you avoid the need for acceleration.
Whenever you accelerate, you’re using gas. When you’re using gas, you’re losing money. Turning on cruise control will help you avoid the craving to hit the gas when your favorite dubstep song hits the radio.
2. Cruise control will help you maintain a constant economical speed.
According to the US Department of Energy, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph:
You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.28 per gallon for gas.
Yikes. That’s quite an increase in price to get to your destination a bit faster. If you’re the kind of person who complains
3. Cruise control, set at the speed limit, will help you avoid tickets.
I’ve never received a ticket (I guess “grandpas” don’t get tickets, ha). But for those of you who have, I’ve heard it isn’t a pleasant experience.
Tickets are expensive. Many states are over $100 per ticket. It’s not uncommon to see a $300 ticket. Ouch. That’ll put a dent in your 7 Baby Steps.
4. Cruise control results in less maintenance costs.
Taking corners fast is damaging to tires and overall hard on your vehicle. Cruise control gives you a constant speed and helps you avoid accelerations that give your engine more work to do.
When To Use Cruise Control
The natural answer is as much as possible. Here are a few places I use cruise control:
The Highway or Freeway
On long stretches of road cruise control comes in handy. Typically you want to go the same speed on the freeway and don’t have to worry about speeding up or slowing down (unless you live in Los Angeles).
Low Traffic Areas
There is a certain amount of hesitation factor when it comes to turning off your cruise control. Make sure that if you turn on your cruise control you also have the ability to turn it off quickly in the event you have to change speeds. The last thing you want to do is rear-end someone because you forgot which button to push.
On my Honda, there are three ways to turn off cruise control:
- I can push the master cruise control button.
- I can push the accelerate and decelerate buttons simultaneously.
- I can tap my brakes.
Now, I’m not one to make decisions quickly. If you give me several different ways to do one task I freeze up. This is exactly what happens when I have to choose a method to end my cruise control session. Therefore, I realized that I had to decide beforehand which method I would use to quickly bring the vehicle out of cruise control. Now I push the master cruise control button.
You can generally avoid this panic by using cruise control in very low traffic areas. Ensure you keep good distance between you and the car in front of you, and you’ll be just fine.
How Do You Save Money on the Road?
Using cruise control is just one idea that can save you money. Do you have any other vehicle tips you could share in the comments section below that save you money?
Maybe you fill your gas tank half full to cut down on weight and improve your MPG. Whatever your tip is, leave it below. What are some ways you can save money? Let’s start a collection and all learn a thing or two!