Looks like next time you go to the gas pump, you may find yourself paying more than you are used to paying. The national average for an unleaded gallon of gas is currently $3.05, the highest level since fall 2008, according to Bankrate.com. Gas prices are expected to continue rising throughout 2011.
OPEC just announced that “demand for its oil in 2011 will be stronger than it previously forecast owing to the recovery in the global economy”. OPEC’s stronger oil-demand forecasts may increase pressure on the group to formally raise its production ceiling. Oil prices are high – close to $100/ barrel. OPEC raised its expected 2011 demand for the group’s crude oil by 200,000 barrels a day to 29.4 million barrels a day. The group also raised its forecast for growth in global oil demand this year by 50,000 barrels a day.
Here are some driving tips to save money on gas, brought to you by FieldLogix GPS Fleet Management System. FieldLogix is a green GPS fleet management solution designed to reduce fleet vehicle fuel consumption and improve productivity. By making small changes in your driving habits, you can reduce your fuel costs and your “carbon footprint” as well.
The following driving tips from FieldLogix GPS Fleet Management tend to be both high-impact in terms of fuel economy and are easy for all drivers to control:
1. Select the most fuel efficient vehicle the journey.
Don’t take the family SUV or a big truck when you can drive a smaller and more fuel efficient vehicle.
2.Take the Junk Out of Your Car
The heavier your car is, the more gas it burns. Remove all the excess stuff (golf clubs, ski racks) from your car when you’re not using it. Carrying around items you don’t need only will make your vehicle’s fuel economy worse.
3. Don’t Let Your Vehicle Warm Up Before You Start Driving
Modern vehicle technology built in the past 10 years allows your car to operate at very near its top efficiency the moment it starts. Letting a car idle while you wait for the engine to warm up or for the heater to kick in is a waste of gas.
4. Turn the Vehicle Off When You’re Not Driving
If you pull over for a phone call or are picking up someone, turn the car off while you are not driving. Letting a car idle when you’re just sitting there is simply a waste of gas. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas and emits more pollution than restarting your car. Turn the car off if you’re not moving.
5. Drive Slower and Less Aggressively
Obey speed limits, accelerate and stop gradually, and anticipate stops. Obeying the speed limit can save you a lot of money. Don’t be a lead foot, peeling out at stops. Jack-rabbit starts waste gas and only get you to the next traffic light faster, where your car will idle longer. Always drive at or below the speed limit on the highway. A good rule of thumb is that for every 10 mph faster you drive, you reduce fuel economy by about 4 mpg, regardless of vehicle size. Additionally, cruise control can help you maintain a steady speed which helps to improve fuel efficiency.
6. Regularly Check Tire Pressure
Make sure you check your tire PSI when the tires are cold. Maintaining the correct PSI, or pounds per square inch, in your car’s tires will give you better gas mileage, so check pressures once a month before you start driving and add air accordingly. If your car is equipped with a tire pressure monitor system — now standard equipment on all new cars — don’t dismiss any alarms as false. Pressure increases as you drive and tires warm up, so a low-pressure alarm when you start driving that goes away later means tire pressure is on the border of being too low and should be adjusted. Check your owner’s manual or the label on the inside of the driver’s door for the correct PSI rating. The number on the tire’s sidewall is the maximum PSI and should not be used.
7. Maintain the Vehicle Properly
Always make sure your vehicle is tuned when needed, and at least checked twice a year for alignment. An improper alignment can waste fuel.
Smart driving is especially important for businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles, because small changes can have big impacts on a larger scale. In the United States alone there are almost 15 million company-owned fleet vehicles on the road today. Fleet vehicles are driven hard, averaging nearly double the mileage, fuel consumption and emissions of personal vehicles. If your company operates a fleet of vehicles, FieldLogix GPS fleet management system can help your company save thousands.