I drive to squeeze as many mpg as I can out of my '95 Camry: I accellerate gradually, I coast down hills, if I see a red light ahead, I coast up to it. By doing this I average around 35 mpg (not exceptional, but good). However, I seem to invoke road rage in a lot of people who are in a hurry - has anyone else experienced this - how do we diffuse this aggression?
While I agree with your endeavours to improve gas mileage, you need to apply your techniques in a practical manner and should drive to maintain progress with normal traffic flow.
Gradual acceleration does little for you, while you should not floor the gas from a stop, you should use adequate throttle to get into the appropriate gear for your speed and road conditions, this is the most economical mode of progress.
Coasting to a red light and downhill is correct, though you should be coasting with adequate throttle to maintain positive progress and not be doing this in neutral or at 10mph for a red light a mile away. Remember, your driving behaviour affects other road users and also their fuel consumption, overly slow progress will force other drivers to accelerate round you.
You need to be sensitive to other road users and employ your gas economy techniques effectively, that will greatly reduce the road rage factor. Though there will always be a percentage of drivers who are only capable of driving in binary (ON or OFF), you just have to live with these.
Road-ragers will always find something to tick them off. As gas prices rise, it’s only going to get worse. As Scudder has suggested, you need to use good judgment when driving in traffic.
But you’ll still tick off some drivers, no matter what you do.
Those other folks are all correct. Nobody likes to share the road with an inconsiderate jerk. This includes the slowpoke in the left lane (who righteously points out he’s doing the legal speed limit) or all others of his ilk who impede smooth traffic flow.
You cannot hide behind the self-serving attitude of ‘those fools who are in a hurry.’ Everyone sets his own pace, quite reasonable to himself, and merely wants a fair chance to use it.
You ask, “how do we diffuse this aggression?” Step One begins with your acceptance of the fact that you are the cause of it. Your selfishness and inconsideration must be reviewed. Of course, you already realize this and are most likely enjoying being the cause of other drivers’ discomfit.
Scudder and NYBo have expressed it very well. It is fine to want to drive more economically, but since you are sharing the road with others who may not always be level-headed (or economy-minded), you will probably need to modify your driving to some extent. This does not mean that they are right and you are wrong, but sometimes you have to be practical and adjust for the circumstances that you are in.
Don’t drive under the speed limit, as that is sure to ignite road rage. Accelerate slowly, but try to get into your overdrive gear as soon as possible. That will yield better gas mileage than very slow acceleration that causes you to linger in lower gears for a longer time. Coast up to a traffic light, rather than speeding up to it as so many people do–but try to estimate when the light is likely to change so that you are not dropping your speed too low at a very far distance from the traffic light. NEVER coast in neutral.
I am all for driving in the most economical way possible, but if you wind up being rear-ended by someone, you will wipe out all of your savings on gas very quickly.
While there is nothing wrong with coasting up to a read light (within reason) and coasting downhill (again, within reason). I absolutely loathe the sloths who don’t have the common decency to accelerate away from a stop at a reasonable pace. To many people getting to your destination in a timely manner outweighs the extra gallon of gas you use being more aggressive with the accelerator pedal. To rectify the situation, I suggest you try to keep up with the prevailing flow of traffic and save the mileage maximizing tricks for when you are the only car on the road.
Don’t impeded traffic flow. Your life is not worth the tad bit of savings. It is all a balance. If there is a passing lane by all means go for it.
I tried those methods in my Subaru WRX which I get 23 mpg overall typically accelerating relatively quickly onto highways(using 4000 rpm as shift point). I only gained about 1-2mpg in the car basically keeping out of boost(turbo). I felt hardly worth it since I bought the car to enjoy beyond transport.
you need to apply your techniques in a practical manner and should drive to maintain progress with normal traffic flow. !!
Road-ragers will always find something to tick them off. But it is not wise to give them cause.
Don’t drive under the speed limit, as that is sure to ignite road rage. Go ahead and drive under the speed limit (within reason) but don’t do it in a manor that will trigger road rage, like on a two lane road, or in the left land of a highway.
Don’t impeded traffic flow. !!
All things in moderation !!
It really depends on where you live. If you live in New York City or Miami where people are rude, you can expect this kind of thing. If you live where the people are polite and friendly, not so much. Just make sure you keep to the right and when someone flashes the bird, smile and wave to them like they are long lost friends.
“Go ahead and drive under the speed limit (within reason) but don’t do it in a manor that will trigger road rage, like on a two lane road, or in the left land of a highway.”
Drive any way that you wish when you are at your own manor!
But, when you are on public highways, try to drive in a manner that won’t incite road rage.
I got a suggestion…If there are cars behind you who are in a hurry…how about pulling over and letting them pass.
Like it says on the signs: “slow traffic keep right”. You are not the “Keeper of the speed”. Don’t impose your will on the poor suckers stuck behind you. Get out of the way of traffic, and then save all the fuel you like. If there’s a lot of traffic behind you and a lot of open space in front of you, you’re a rolling road block, and you’re bound to infuriate everyone behind you. Being energy conscious doesn’t give you the right to do that.
Personally I HATE those people who like to get in front of the line and then SLOW down so “They can be in control.” It’s like they lives have no meaning that they need to give it some meaning by trying to CONTROL other people. There’s a road near me that has a speed limit of 45…and it’s all NO-PASSING for about 5 miles. You get these DWEEBS on the road…and the minute someone pulls in behind them they slow down to 35…then when the passing lane comes along…they speed up to 60 so you can’t pass…then it’s back to no passing and they slow down again to 35. I can’t tell you how many times I wished I had a shotgun in my truck.
Some people slow down to 35 MPH because they are being tailgated. If you have some bully on your rear bumper, slowing down to 35 makes the whole situation safer. Sometimes you can be going 15 MPH over the speed limit and still be a rolling road block. It is kind of like a heard of bison walking off a cliff. If one bison leads the way, all of them will follow to their death. Think for yourself and operate your car as you see fit, and don’t do something stupid, like speeding, just because there is a line behind you.
2ndtiming, it sounds like you are a leader, not a follower. Keep doing what you are doing. If anyone else doesn’t like it, suggest to them that they drive their car and you drive yours. Unless they bought your car or pay you a salary to drive, nobody has any business telling you how to drive your car.
I’ve been driving your way for years. Most people are cosiderate enough to pass me with decent distance betwen us. But there are a number of folks who just can’t stand that others have different priorities. They ride my bumper until the traffic to the left provides ehough room to squeeze in. Then they cut in front of me with less than a car length between us. I don’t know how thay can tell tht there is space. And it doesn’t amtter how fast you go. Someone is always faster and aggresive enough to get bent at you. Just do what you think is right and don’t let the fools get to you.
When you putz along well below the prevailing speed it suddenly becomes everyone’s problem. If it’s just you on the road in light traffic then it’s not an issue. When I’m accelerating away from a red light I do so in a sporting manner as respect to those behind me since I realize that most people don’t appreciate being held up by some sloth.
Most people are cosiderate enough to pass me with decent distance betwen us. But there are a number of folks who just can’t stand that others have different priorities.
If you’re driving below the speed limit it’s now YOU imposing YOUR priorities on everyone else. Pull over…
In my experience, those who think they are being held up by someone driving safely and legally should have left five minutes earlier. The so-called sloth isn’t the problem. The impatient driver’s inability to manage his or her time is the real problem. Some folks are always running late, and they look for someone else to blame for their own lack of time management. I guess that is what happens when a society raises its children to think the world revolves around them.
We said this in a previous post; the best speed for gas mileage is likely an annoying and dangerous speed for others. Unless you are all by yourself in the country, go with the flow, or some day YOU WILL CAUSE A SERIOUS ACCIDENT!! Many jurisdictions a MINIMUM highway speeds to curb such foolish practices.
Many jurisdictions a MINIMUM highway speeds to curb such foolish practices.
Exactly! In many places where the speed limit is 70 MPH, the minimum legal speed is 55 MPH. So drive as slow as you want as long as you don’t go slower than 55 MPH. Look for signs and obey the law.
Something tells me that aggressive drivers like to blame accidents that THEY caused on slow drivers. It wouldn’t be the first time an aggressive person allowed his aggression to arrest his good judgement. It would also not be the first time an aggressive person tried to bully a gentle modest person into believing he somehow passively caused the aggressive behavior. Nothing identifies a bully as effectively as guilt displacement. It is a tell tale sign of abusive behavoir. Just ask around. Abusers never like taking responsibility for their behavior.