With no end in sight to high gas prices, consumers should take control of how they drive their vehicle to get more miles per gallon. The Car Care Council, an automotive consumer education group, recommends the following ways to drive smart and save money.
- Combine errands in one trip and get good directions before you head out to minimize driving unnecessary miles.
- Lighten the load by getting stuff out of the car, including the trunk, with the exception of important emergency items such as a spare tire, flares, and a first-aid kit. Unnecessary items weigh the vehicle down, causing an increase in gas usage.
- Stay within the speed limit and use cruise control, when appropriate. Gas mileage usually decreases when going over 60 miles per hour (mph).
- Avoid aggressive driving. Sudden stops and starts and rapid acceleration decrease your vehicle's miles per gallon (mpg).
- Check the condition of the gas cap. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
- Don't idle your vehicle and go inside instead of waiting in long lines at the drive-through window to avoid wasting gas.
"We can't control the price of gas, but we can control how we drive our vehicles, and how much gas we use," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.