According a 2011 GasBuddy.com poll, more than one-third of drivers reported they almost always use cruise control when it’s safe to do so. Another 27% said they use cruise control more than half of the time.
Using cruise control has many positive features, including being able to rest your feet while maintaining a constant speed and not having to worry about driving too fast or too slow on a long trip.
One area cruise control benefits that some people may not realize is their finances.
Yes, using cruise control is not only convenient, but it can also save you money.
Cruise to More Miles Per Gallon
According to ABCNews, cruise control uses a small computer under the hood of the car to regulate the amount of air allowed into the engine. Once you set your desired speed, the computer quickly accelerates to the speed, then keeps the car going at that rate.
By staying at a steady rate, you are decreasing the number of times you apply the brake in your car as well as how much you begin to accelerate. Driving at a constant speed helps to maximize your miles per gallon, thereby saving you money.
According to tests done by Edmunds, using cruise control can save a driver about 7% on gas. The website noted this is mainly due to decreased use of the accelerator, plus greater awareness of changes in the road coming up. Knowing what the road will be like farther along reduces small, unnecessary changes in speed.
Control Your Risk Of Speeding Tickets
It is generally advised to set the cruise control at the speed limit.
According to a poll by GasBuddy.com, more than half of drivers set their speed at just above the limit, while another 16% set it at the actual speed limit. Depending on the state you get caught speeding in, you could wind up facing more than $100 in tickets. In the best case scenario, a speeding ticket will cost some money and be an inconvenience. Philosophies regarding what safe limits are can vary from state to state.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in the ’70s, Congress decided to stop issuing highway funds to states that impose speed limits above 55 mph. This was completely repealed within two decades and since then, every state has chosen limits 60 mph or above.
Texas has the highest with a maximum speed limit of 85 mph on some highways.
However, just because a driver is allowed to drive 85 miles an hour without risk of fines, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel economy becomes less efficient at speeds above 50 miles per hour.
In fact, the Department Of Energy reported that for every five miles per hour driven over 50 MPH, a driver loses 14 cents per gallon. This means that, at 85 mph, a driver could be losing nearly $5 per gallon of gas used.
Setting the cruise at a lower speed might mean you’ll be passed by other cars on the road, but you can cruise happily knowing you are likely saving more money than those racing by.
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