Saturday, May 7, 2011

Driving slow or speeding along?

Back in February one of the Change the World Wednesday challenges was to reduce speed.   When I wrote about it I mentioned how I normally speed to/from work because I just want to be home..I don't want to spend my time driving to/from work. Boy it really does suck to live so far away from my job!

Since then I have actively been working on not speeding and going 60-65 mph on the highway.  I didn't think it was going to make much of a difference but I'm amazed that it has.  

I normally would average 322 miles per tank.  Yes..I'm one of those that doesn't normally get gas until the light comes on telling me I'm nearing empty.   At first I didn't pay too much attention but last month I noticed I got a lot more miles than normal so I started to pay attention.  I've been able to get up to 367 miles per tank of gas (although I was seriously on empty when I filled up. haha! The light came on when I was at work and I don't work in the safest of areas and decided I could make it home..which I did..barely).  However normally I get at least 20 more miles per tank of gas than I used to.  With the rise in gas prices, this really makes a difference.   I was talking to Husband about this and the next time we were in my car (we normally take his) I showed him how I had started to keep track (lame..I know) and we figured out that I'm now averaging around 28 miles/gallon.

On another note, my husband filled up his new car, which is a hybrid recently. He said he went 3 weeks and had over 700 miles.  That's awesome! I can't wait till we get his paid off because then it will be about time for me to get a new one and I want something that gets as good of mileage.

However there is one other thing I wanted to mention about not speeding.  I thought I would have to start leaving earlier in the mornings in order to get to work on time, but that's not the case. I'm leaving at the same time and I'm arriving on time.  I've also noticed, and to me this is the most important change, that I"m less stressed.  I honestly didn't even realize that the commute was stressing me.  After I had been going slower for several weeks it dawned on me that I didn't feel stressed, I didn't feel pressured. It was such a jolt to realize that I had been stressed out on my commute. I just hadn't realized it. I'm much calmer in the car. Not that I had road rage, but I would get annoyed when somebody would get in front of me and be going slower etc.  I love that I'm more calm.  This was an unexpected perk of reducing my speed and I'm so glad I did.

Unfortunately, while I am getting more miles per gallon with my car, due to joining a gym I'm also driving more.  I hate that but live is about balances.  I don't want to give up working out in order to save a couple bucks on gas.  The gym is only 5 miles away, so I'm not adding on a ton of miles, but it's still significant when gas is $4.00/gallon.

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