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Gas economy and the speed limit

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n4yek

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I have been thinking lately about gas prices and the speed limit on the interstates.
Back in the '70's when the oil embargo to place, the US lowered the national speed limit to 55mph. It was to save on gas and it seemed that at that speed most vehicles got the best gas milage.
Gas prices pretty much stayed at around $1.00 a gallon give or take a few pennies for almost 20 years. then the federal government relaxed the decision of the speed limit and states started raising the limit back up to 70mph and more in some places.
Now not long after that, the price of gas started to creep up, citing fuel shortages and other reasons.
My 1996 Saturn SL gets 40mpg at 55mph, 35mpg at 70mph, so in my opinion the speed limit in the states would best suit our gas shortage and prices if they would drop it back down to 55mph.
Any different view points?
 

wogggieee

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I think speed limits would have a very small effect on the gas prices. i think other things effect it far more. At this point with everyone used to the higher speed limits, good luck getting them to slow down. No one obeys the limits now at 70. It's painful when you get into areas that are 55 and people still go 70 anyways. Unless you're going at least 60 you're going to get run over. Won't work. That and i have no desire to increase the time it takes to get places by about 25%.
 

iMONITOR

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What gas shortage? We have a surplus.

Using your mileage figures, on a 500 mile trip, you would use approximately 1.78 more gallons of gas driving 70 mph, vs 55 mph. At a cost of $3.25/gal, that's a savings of $5.79. Hardly worth thinking about.
 

kibbins

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n4yek said:
I have been thinking lately about gas prices and the speed limit on the interstates.
Back in the '70's when the oil embargo to place, the US lowered the national speed limit to 55mph. It was to save on gas and it seemed that at that speed most vehicles got the best gas milage.
Gas prices pretty much stayed at around $1.00 a gallon give or take a few pennies for almost 20 years. then the federal government relaxed the decision of the speed limit and states started raising the limit back up to 70mph and more in some places.
Now not long after that, the price of gas started to creep up, citing fuel shortages and other reasons.
My 1996 Saturn SL gets 40mpg at 55mph, 35mpg at 70mph, so in my opinion the speed limit in the states would best suit our gas shortage and prices if they would drop it back down to 55mph.
Any different view points?
So you'd be getting 5 miles per gallon less @ 70MPH but covering 15 more miles in an hour...I'm no math whiz but I'd say the gains are pretty minimal.
 

WouffHong

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Jawjuh :)
55 to go.. :)

I have been wondering about that myself - I survived the 70's 55 MPH because MOST people DID care enough to follow the law and not ignore it. If they did, they were nailed and were fined.. The Oil-Merchants abroad got the message (as they are noticing a TINY bit now) that if you stiff the USA, you pay in reduced purchases.. Now their milking us again.

People left earlier, actually became a bit politer, with reduced "Road Rage" (As we call it now) and still got to work on time, but at a more relaxed, less-stressed pace..

I now drive an HHR with a K-N filter that gives me up to 44 MPG at 65-70 on cruise-control and 30-35 in-town, so no big gain for me.

But if I pull my 2003 Expedition (My rolling ARES/RACES 40M-440 Mhz Ham-mobile) from the Garage, I drop to a decent 18 MPG highway, and 14 in-town, (Also with a K-N fiter), but she don't roll too often any more! (ROTFL) - I miss using it on the interstates, but at these prices, NYET!

Bottom line - It CAN be done, but like anything worth doing with a problem like this, it will take adjustments to our now ingrained heavy-foot-habit driving and the timing of trips wherein there lies the need to meet an arrival schedule..

Back-to-the-Future Food for thought... :) :)

Tom

n4yek said:
I have been thinking lately about gas prices and the speed limit on the interstates.
Back in the '70's when the oil embargo to place, the US lowered the national speed limit to 55mph. It was to save on gas and it seemed that at that speed most vehicles got the best gas milage.
Gas prices pretty much stayed at around $1.00 a gallon give or take a few pennies for almost 20 years. then the federal government relaxed the decision of the speed limit and states started raising the limit back up to 70mph and more in some places.
Now not long after that, the price of gas started to creep up, citing fuel shortages and other reasons.
My 1996 Saturn SL gets 40mpg at 55mph, 35mpg at 70mph, so in my opinion the speed limit in the states would best suit our gas shortage and prices if they would drop it back down to 55mph.
Any different view points?
 

Stick0413

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I know some cars get better gas milage at higher speeds. My mom's car gets its best mileage at about 65mph and my dads truck at about 70 mph.
 

brutalpilot514

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My camaro gets its best mileage between 70 and 75. at 60 I'm too low in 5th gear and have to spend too much time shifting back and forth between 4th and 5th and that uses a lot more gas.
 

wogggieee

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kibbins said:
So you'd be getting 5 miles per gallon less @ 70MPH but covering 15 more miles in an hour...I'm no math whiz but I'd say the gains are pretty minimal.
Decreased speeds mean more time to get places which for many businesses that charge/pay by hour means increased costs.
 

n4yek

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GreatLakes said:
What gas shortage? We have a surplus.

Using your mileage figures, on a 500 mile trip, you would use approximately 1.78 more gallons of gas driving 70 mph, vs 55 mph. At a cost of $3.25/gal, that's a savings of $5.79. Hardly worth thinking about.
I don't think you look at the big picture of your calculation, lets say 100 million drivers saves 1.78 gallons at that 500 mile trip, 178,000,000 gallons of gas....see what I am looking at? I'm looking at an entire countries usage, not just an individuals.
Now that is my gas mileage, not what the actual gas savings since all vehicles get different ranges of gas economy.
I know most drivers now couldn't dream of going 55mph, but we all done it for 20 years and when I started driving, that was normal highway speed. When the speed limit was relaxed, I was a bit nervous driving at 70mph. I got used to it though and I say we could do it again if the crisis called for it.
When I bought my car in '96 it took $10 to fill up my tank, now it takes $30. That is a big difference since the $20 difference has taken place in only the last 5 years.
I just have a fear that at that rate of increase, we won't be able to afford to even drive in just a few short years.
 

iMONITOR

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n4yek said:
I don't think you look at the big picture of your calculation, lets say 100 million drivers saves 1.78 gallons at that 500 mile trip, 178,000,000 gallons of gas....see what I am looking at? I'm looking at an entire countries usage, not just an individuals.
Now that is my gas mileage, not what the actual gas savings since all vehicles get different ranges of gas economy.
I know most drivers now couldn't dream of going 55mph, but we all done it for 20 years and when I started driving, that was normal highway speed. When the speed limit was relaxed, I was a bit nervous driving at 70mph. I got used to it though and I say we could do it again if the crisis called for it.
When I bought my car in '96 it took $10 to fill up my tank, now it takes $30. That is a big difference since the $20 difference has taken place in only the last 5 years.
I just have a fear that at that rate of increase, we won't be able to afford to even drive in just a few short years.
I understand what you are saying. But driving 55, and conserving gas will not bring the price down. The only reason there is ever an apparent shortage of gasoline is because the oil companies, and their refineries create it. There is still an awful lot of crude oil in the ground. If the oil crisis was realistic, don't you think the US Government would mandate various conservative measures? When we do run out of crude, there are plenty of alternative ways to power a vehicle.

And yes you were right, I was using my formula based on how driving 70, vs 55 would impact me personally.
 

kb2vxa

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Historically Detroit has fostered the notion that Americans must drive aircraft carriers with wheels and have a need for speed. You won't see generations of "inbred notions" go away overnight nor the marketing ploys until oil runs out and we return to one horsepower vehicles. You'll still see the soccer moms ferrying kids around perfectly capable of walking and driving the few blocks to the general store for groceries. You'll still see road rage incidents only more will involve the vehicles themselves and Los Angeles will still have traffic jams, only the smog will smell funny.

So why no supermarkets and shopping malls? There'll be no place to park your horse with the lot full of dray wagons parked in a sea of horse poop you really wouldn't want to walk through anyway.

When you ask the livery attendant to fill 'er up he won't ask regular or premium, like the old days he'll ask hay or oats? Lastly there is drag racing... the quarter horse!

Git in th' baan ye dang mule! Pepina! Naow where... PEPINA!!!
 

jhooten

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Technology has changed since the carborated cars of the 70's. The modern computer controlled engine is much more efficient with lower harmful emissions. Miliage is more consistant across the speed range than it was then.

Lowering the speed limits will cause cars to spend more time on the road. As a result of longer run times total emissions will increase not decrease causing more damage to the environment.
 

n1das

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Nashua, NH
Stick0413 said:
I know some cars get better gas milage at higher speeds. My mom's car gets its best mileage at about 65mph and my dads truck at about 70 mph.
GAS mileage in my car is techically INFINITE at all times since it uses ZERO gasoline. At 45-50 MPGs with DIESEL and being able to go more than 700 miles between fillups of around 15 gallons, I seriously will not own another gasoline car ever again if I can help it, gasser hybrids included. No more gassers for me. All future vehicle purchases shall be DIESEL vehicles!

My car: 2002 VW Golf TDI (diesel). Easy 45+ MPG and a 700+ mile tank range while driving it like I stole it. :D I plan to keep running the car for an additional 200k miles on top of the 275k miles I've already put on it since new. It loves to haul arse on the highway at 75-90 MPH while returning 45 MPG. It's the most efficient Autobahn burner I've ever owned! :D I'm also active in the TDIclub online community of VW TDI (diesel) owners: www.TDICLUB.com
 

tazeat

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Heh 55, I don't see anything above 60 around here anyway, not much different, just when they pull you over doing 85 its 30 over instead of 25 :rolleyes:
 
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