Gas-Saving Moment of the Day: 55 MPH Speed Limits

By Stephen Markley  on May 27, 2008

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You're not going to like this one. Here at KickingTires, we know we don't.

Cars are most efficient when driven at a low speed in their top gear. Therefore, changing speed limits on highways to 55 mph would save fuel and emissions, as well as reduce traffic deaths. For every 5 mph over the speed limit you drive, you lose 20 cents per gallon, according to the Department of Energy.

During the oil embargo in the '70s, the federal government tried the 55 mph national speed limit, and organizations like drive55.org are eager to return to that standard. However, cars and trucks have come a long way since the era of disco. These days, driving 55 mph on the highway feels like puttering around on a tricycle. Today's vehicles are quieter and faster. When’s the last time you found yourself satisfied going 55 mph on an open freeway? In other words, a 55-mph speed limit may be as lost a cause as asking drivers to trade in their cars for a horse and buggy.

What do you think about reduced speed limits? Would you be able to scale back your highway speed for the cause of saving fuel?

With Gas Prices Rising and the Planet Warming, Is It Time to Drive 55 Again? (Autopia)

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More Gas-Saving Moments of the Day (KickingTires)