Friday, May 05, 2006

Thrills become as cheap as gas, and gas as cheap as thrills.....

OK, I spent today driving from Atlanta to the St. Louis area. Just me and a rented Ford Tarus (blech). Anyway, I'd rather drive than fly, and a nice drive it was. As I crossed into Illinois, though, I was playing with the onboard computer, and came across the MPG calculator. I was able to determine that I was getting about 26.5 MPG at the 80+mph I was cruising (shhhhhh, don't tell). With the current high gas prices, I wondered just how wasteful I waqs being. When I got onto Rt4, I had an opportunity for a ~20mile run at 60 mph. That 25% decrease in speed jumped the milage up to 30.2 MPG (yes, I reset the meter!). OK, a 25% reduction in speed leads to a 14% increase in gas milage. Sounds pretty good. But what would that mean, in real dollars, over the course of my day?? The trip was right at 600 miles, if I drove the whole thing at 80, that would be 22.6 gallons. At 60mph, it would only take 19.9 gallons. SO, a reduction in speed would've saved 2.8 gallons. At $2.80/gallon, thats a savings of $7.77.

On the other hand, at 80mph, the trip would take 7.5 hours, versus 10 hrs at 60mph.

In summary.... For 2.5 hours of my time, I could've saved less than $8.00 of gas. Ummm, not gonna happen.

4 comments:

Sherry P said...

glad you're back. 80 mph. geeezzzz!

LSqrd said...

Thanks Sherry!! Along TN/GA that's pretty close to moving with traffic. Speed limit is 70 in TN, btw...

Ol' Froth said...

Of course, you're leaving out the possibility of a hefty ticket if you're caught! ;-)

LSqrd said...

Actually, I do keep that in mind. It's a risk I'm willing to factor in. I've only had 2 interstate tickets in 30 years of driving, one in southern Virginia (along I-85, in 1982), and one in Ohio, a bit west of Zanesville (1996-ish). If y'all want to ticket me for 12-13mph above the the speed limit, well, I'll just say, "Yes sir, and thank you sir". And I've passed countless troopers at those speeds, probably half a dozen on this most recent trip alone..

But I've mellowed SOOO much. Not like those day's in the late 70's; out on Rt28 in my Dad's '73 GrandPrix, with the speedometer pegged. I guess the Lord takes care of drunks and fools.....