You’ve probably seen me. I’m usually coasting around Montrose in my green hybrid SUV. Yes, it’s actually green. And I’m definitely coasting. You may have been stuck behind me, in a rush to get somewhere, and cursed me. That’s fine, curse all you like – just remember that I’m spending less on gas than you are.
I’m all about saving a buck, and saving our natural resources is right up there too. Several years ago when gas prices threatened the five dollar mark, I became a self-taught expert in hypermiling, those techniques designed to help drivers squeeze a few extra miles from each overpriced gallon of gas. Whether you drive a hybrid or gas automobile, these simple practices can benefit you too, and I’m happy to share them.
Secret #1 - I’m about to reveal the number one principle behind hypermiling. Are you ready? The less your foot presses down on the gas pedal, the less gas you will use. Got it? It’s almost common sense! Now, let’s put this into practice. The minute that light ahead of you turns red, take your foot off the gas and coast to the light. No point in pressing down the gas pedal and rushing up to that red light, when you’re going to have to stop anyway. See, hypermiling saves wear and tear on your brakes as well!
Secret #2 – Now when that red light turns green, resist the temptation to stomp on that gas pedal like a Formula One speedster. Rather, release the brake, letting your car coast for a few seconds, then gently accelerate. Gradual acceleration will use less gas in the long run. An added bonus – gradual acceleration gives you a few extra moments to be sure that the intersection is clear before proceeding, and let's face it, wouldn't the streets be a little safer if we all reduced our speeds a little? See, hypermiling could even save your life!
Secret #3 - If all these benefits weren’t enough, there is one additional benefit to hypermiling. Happily cruising along at a moderate, relaxed clip may not be equivalent to a Zen Yoga session, but I’m convinced that it lowers blood pressure… your blood pressure, that is, not the blood pressure of the aggravated driver in your rear view mirror. Which brings me to my final point...
Secret #4 - Always be a courteous hypermiler, and stay in the right lane whenever possible. When others pass you, shaking their fists, just smile and continue along on your energy efficient, stress-reducing way... you’ll probably catch up to them at the next red light anyway.