Ways To Save Gas
(as the statists always style it) waste a lot of fuel in this country.
No doubt you’ve heard that one before. But let’s examine
the cliche from a slightly different perspective: The many ways
via which the government wastes our fuel.
three or four traffic lights – each spaced say 500 yards apart
as you proceed down the road. The first goes green just as the one
up ahead turns red. Or vice-versa. Writ small, a Clover Conga. Inch
forward a bit – then stop and wait some more. It takes 15
minutes to clear a mile or so of road that – if the lights
all went green at once – you could probably traverse in two
minutes or so. Write large – extrapolated nationwide –
a massive waste of gas as millions of car engines idle while the
cars themselves go nowhere. The government itself concedes that
as much as 10 percent of the fuel used by Americans each year is
burnt up by cars idling uselessly at lights. With all the AI-type
computers and cameras everywhere, it surely can’t be much
of a technical challenge to coordinate traffic signals so they encourage
free-flowing traffic as opposed to mucking up the flow of traffic.
It’s a no-cost solution to a real problem.
Which is probably
why the government is doing nothing about it. Or rather, doing more
to make it worse.
many stop signs – not enough “proceed with caution”
it being “the law,” is there any sensible reason for
coming to a complete stop at an intersection where sight lines are
open and you can clearly see there are no other cars in the immediate
vicinity? Losing momentum – and having to regain it –
wastes a tremendous amount of fuel. It does not take much horsepower
– and so, not much fuel – to keep even the
biggest “gas hog” SUV moving. But it does take a great
deal of fuel to get the thing moving in the first place.
A vehicle that weighs say 3,200 pounds and which is powered by a
270 hp V-6 may only need 30 or 40 hp to cruise in top gear at a
steady 45 MPH. But it needs a whole lot more than 30 or 40 hp to
push (or pull, if FWD) that 3,200 pounds to 45 MPH from a dead stop.
The more stop-and-go, the faster the gas needle moves from right
to left. Stop less – and save more. Some
(Clovers) will object to the idea of people exercising discretion
and judgment – as opposed to worshipful blind obedience to
signage. But then they ought to mewl less about “wasting gas.”
Which of course,
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automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2013 Eric Peters
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