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BobT

Your thoughts?

87 posts in this topic

How do you all feel about the idea of slowing down our highway speed limits? One of the most effective ways to improve our vehicle efficiency is to slow down, to a point. There are a lot of factors involved that can effect the ultimate speed to efficiency such as vehicle weight, engine horsepower, engine displacement, transmission gear ratios, final drive gear ratios, tire size, fuel type, ignition system, and many others but here’s a couple examples to get this started. These are real results from personal experience.

2001 Ford F150, 5.4L V8.

Driving from Osakis to Maple Grove at 78mph on a relatively calm day resulted in about 14.5mpg.

Same day on return trip set cruise to 70mph and returned 17.5mpg. 20.6% increase in mileage.

Using the same vehicle with ATV in box driving from Osakis to Cloquet via I-94 to St. Cloud (70mph), 23 to Hinckley (55mph), and I-35 to Cloquet (70mph), returned 19mpg. In each stretch I set the cruise to the speed limit and tried to avoid speed changes as much as possible. 8.5% increase in mileage.

2001 Chrysler Concorde, 2.7L V6.

Driving from Osakis Rochester via I-94 and 52 (65mph) resulted in about 29mpg round trip. Used the same vehicle a week ago from Osakis to Granite Falls with the cruise set at 55 even on those sections where 60 was allowed. Wanted to see how much difference it would make. The result was a cost of 5.3 gallons to travel 194.6 miles round trip; just short of 37mpg! This vehicle was only rated to 28mpg highway. 27.6% increase in mileage.

The results clearly demonstrate that slowing down can have rather significant returns. Buying gasoline at $3.83/gal and getting 29mpg vs 37mpg is like getting the same fuel for $2.97/gal.

Food for thought

Bob

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Maybe we can start giving out subsidies to those who voluntarily drive slower....... smirk

Ah crud, I should have never mentioned it. Now some liberal somewhere is now going to formulate a half thought out plan to try this and further expand on the DFL's redistribution of wealth campaign.

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Bob T,

I am all for the 55mph speed limit until we can find a cheaper means of travel.

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Didn't they do this in the 1970's? I thought the limit was changed to 55mph for fuel economy, and to reduce traffic deaths.

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How about you drive 55 and don't push your ideas on everyone else.

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I prefer free markets in lieu of dictatorships.

Let the market determine prices and I will determine how to live my life.

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Didn't they do this in the 1970's? I thought the limit was changed to 55mph for fuel economy, and to reduce traffic deaths.

yep they did. they also had windfall profits tax and price controls on oil and gas in the 1970's. the results were spetacular(sarc)

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What/who is stopping people from doing it now? Drive 55 if you want. If the individuals who want to drive faster complain about gas prices someone can explain to them that slowing down will help.

Mandatory speed limit decreases would be nonsense in my opinion, especially if its just in attempt to control resource usage. If/when prices go down or a new technology comes out and we are less dependent on oil then we raise them again?

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Many truckers have already slowed it down to 65 on the freeways for the very reason Bob T mentions. Can see the same thing in my diesel pickup. Vehicles driving at mixed speeds is not necessarily a good combination, especially from one who has driven in states like IL where the truck speed limit is 55 on the freeways. When I ask the residents there why they shrug thier shoulders. Personally, 55 is too slow on the freeway. 65 on freeways is fast enough IMO and 55 on two lanes is fine. And if you think it's fine to speed if you don't get caught, and since energy has become such a matter of national security, I think the fines should be increased substantially to reflect that. Getting really tired of seeing people fly by at 85+ mph in a 70 mph zone. You asked what I thought and there it is.

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What/who is stopping people from doing it now? Drive 55 if you want. If the individuals who want to drive faster complain about gas prices someone can explain to them that slowing down will help.

Mandatory speed limit decreases would be nonsense in my opinion, especially if its just in attempt to control resource usage. If/when prices go down or a new technology comes out and we are less dependent on oil then we raise them again?

I agree, no need to drop speed limits. I have already started driving MUCH slower, for two reasons - one is to spend less $$ on fuel (works great as mentioned) and the other is because you don't really save much time by driving faster, but if you are going slower than everybody else, you never have to worry about lane changes or what other people are doing, they must go around you smile I love that, makes for a nice pleasant drive for me. I am now getting true 18 mpg (using exact gallons, miles and calculator) in my chev pickup with 350, and that is going about 60. Will be trying 55 in future.

But I don't want everybody doing 55, that will mess up my driving and force me to go 50 wink hmmm... maybe not so bad wink

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Although I agree that backing off in speed saves gas, I don't think reducing the limits would be that great of an idea. I believe our govt. has too much control on our lives already. I drive a '96 Ford Explorer SUV and have always got 22 - 23 mpg, vs. the 20 that I'm supposed to get. While pulling my boat, I can increase my mileage from 16 mpg to 18 mpg, just by doing more coasting when nearing a stop sign and taking off and accelerating much slower. I'm sure I irritate people behind me at times, but who cares. They're not paying for my gas. For every mile per hour over 60, you save a whole 1 second per mile. If you drive 30 miles at 65 mph, you save a whole 2 1/2 minutes, vs. driving 60 mph. That's not a lot of time. What really irks me is when I'm about 1 mile from a town and some one-who-thinks-I-am-silly passes me and then pulls over or turns, as soon as he gets into town.

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I think I can go along with the idea that government shouldn't get involved in this situation. In the 70s congress passed laws that resulted in 55mph speedlimits throughout the states including interstate highways. I don't recall if they used financial leverage to accomplish it or if it was a congressional order. Either way the reason behind it was because of the oil embargos and potential shortages of fuel that eventually came to pass. In that situation I can understand a need for government to get involved. In this situation we are not experiencing a shortage issue...yet.

It certainly would go a long way toward reducing our dependance on foreign imports of fuel, which seems to be a common expression. Just using my results as an example, slowing the entire country down would immediately reduce our dependance by roughly 15% - 20% without changing anything else about our vehicle designs.

Bob

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I will say this, I do agree that slowing saves gas, but stay in the right lane. When I am traveling and especially on interstates or state highway's the minimum is the speed limit, do I burn more gas, dang straight, do I care when I get to my destination quicker with 2 crying and screaming kids, no way....

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I can agree with slowing down a bit to save gas, from both an economical and conservation standpoint. But it it should be voluntary or at the least reasonable.

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Speed limits do not work anyway. It is amazing how many times I get passed when I am driving 65mph on a divided hiway. These people are probably driving 75 when the speed limit is 65 so lowering the speed limit will not do much to reduce the consumption of gas.

The answer to our problem is a car that can use flatualance as fuel.

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I think with the rising gas prices people have slowed some on their own. In the past, I think more people drove over the limit, more often, than at the limit. Rather than change the limits, just gaining compliance with posted speeds would save an appreciable amount.

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I have slowed from being the one driving 80+ on the freeway to 65-70 now

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inflate your tires, don't accelerate as fast etc. There is a lot to do to improve efficiency. Don't drive as much either.

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Pawlenty's citizen committee on climate change has recommended reduced speed limits statewide to control global warming.

I am all for driving slower and currently do so to save gas/money.

What I don't understand is;

I keep hearing that the majority of Americans now believe in, and are very concerned about, man made global warming.

Burning gas releases CO2 believed by many to be the cause of global warming.

It is common knowledge that reducing vehicle speed saves gas.

So why aren't all of these people who are so concerned about global warming already driving slower to conserve gas?

If the majority of people really believe it will help save the planet why on EARTH would we need a new law to force them to do it?

Hmmmmmm...................

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I was listening to public radio today and they were discussing things like this, how most people are all talk but no action. This isn't a quote but it was the jist of what they were elluding to. For the most part, we truly are that way when you think about it. Do as I say but not as I do is common rhetoric.

Very few will stand up and declare they prefer polluted air, global warming, or high prices yet when it comes time to act it is rare for anyone to do so. We just keep waiting for someone else to go first or solve the problem by another means.

Bob

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I have already slowed to save a ton of fuel. If one does not like the high gas prices, one way to combat it is to slow down and that will help save.

Why not?

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I keep hearing that the majority of Americans now believe in, and are very concerned about, man made global warming.

Burning gas releases CO2 believed by many to be the cause of global warming.

It is common knowledge that reducing vehicle speed saves gas.

So why aren't all of these people who are so concerned about global warming already driving slower to conserve gas?

If the majority of people really believe it will help save the planet why on EARTH would we need a new law to force them to do it?

Hmmmmmm...................

They want YOU to drive slower, but they do not want to be inconvienienced.

I do the speed limit, actually, usually 2-3 over. Unless its 70, then I do 70.

Im gonna try slowing it down to 60 while pulling the boat on my trip tomorrow to see what the result is.

No need to mandate slower limits, just hammer those going 5+ over it.

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I don't mean to pick on you Wade but your last statement is very typical of our attitudes.

"No need to mandate slower limits, just hammer those going 5+ over it."

I'd like to paraphrase this just a bit. In other words post a speed limit but allow speeding at the level to which I am doing it, right?

We've become so accustomed to pushing the boundaries and getting away with it that the boundaries don't hold water anymore. It's actually become somewhat of a common challenge to see how far we can go.

Bob

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I think there will be a few people who fit this. Always in a hurry, 5 minutes behind schedule, trying to pack as much into one day as possible. I know that describes me. It is very hard to keep in the forefront of my mind that the difference between 74 and 65 in a 10 mile drive is a very short span of time, much less that I might get 15% better mpg if I slow down when I am running behind. And we all know the fish are biting now and we need to get the boat in the water smirk

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Keep in mind also - BobT alluded to this earlier - the Federal Government does not have the power to set speed limits. In the 1970s, the Federal Gov't did not set the speed limits - constitutionally, they don't have the power. Instead, they resorted to extortion...threatening to withhold federal highway funds from states that did not comply with the lower speed limits. It was unconstitutional all around.

We all know that slowing down saves fuel...I will generally avoid the interstate whenever I travel, as the slower speeds of the back highways save me gas. Takes a bit longer, but the drive is usually more interesting.

And I agree with the sentiment expressed by others here...it is up to us to take some responsibility for this; we shouldn't have to be told by the government what to do. I don't want a government powerful enough to have that much control over my life.

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