How to Drive Efficiently On The Freeway

Pasadena Freeway from Elysian Park looking south towards downtown Los Angeles, California.

All my life I’ve been driving in one of the most congested cities in the world, Los Angeles, and I’ve learned how to do it with great peace of mind and efficiency. I’m very excited to share the simple things I do that have transformed driving to go from a tiring and stressful experience to a much more relaxing one.

This is one of several articles about driving that are on the way. Each part is like a building block that may dramatically change the way you drive, save you a lot of money, reduce emissions, neutralize personal road rage and make driving a relaxing experience.

Intro

When I first started driving at the age of 16, I used to speed constantly. I was often sustaining a speed of 75-80mph on the freeway to maintain the flow with the fast lane. But by the time I got into my 20’s, I was more relaxed and going around 65-70mph on the freeway.

Nowadays, I don’t have the urge to speed or accelerate like a madman anymore.  I value my money more and believe that a penny saved is even better than a penny earned.  So I’m doing the best that I can to get amazing fuel economy.  I’m basically just driving at 55-60mph. That’s it!

1. Driving 55 to 60mph is dramatically more efficient than higher speeds.

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2. Driving 55 to 60mph is very calming and has therapeutic effects.

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3. Won’t driving only 55mph make my trip take much longer?

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4. How much gas will I save?

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Warning: DO NOT do this if you’re very tired.

Driving slower-than-you’re-used-to when you are very sleepy increases your chances of falling asleep at the wheel.  When you’re going 55mph with the cruise control on, you don’t need to be very conscious!  It’s almost like being in a hypnotic trance state because of how easily your brain goes on autopilot while driving.  So if you’re sleepy, drive at the speed limit so your mind stays engaged.

Also, if you’re super-tired, refrain from blasting your heater.  Keep things semi-cool.  Feeling great warmth is bound to make you feel sleepy or drowsy and it’s hard to get alert again cause you’re just sitting there.

Try this out and let me know how you feel when you drive slower.  I would love to hear your feedback and results.  Do you feel how lightly you have to press the gas pedal now?  Notice what speed the big-rigs drive at?

Want to read more?  Check out the next building block to this driving series: How to drive efficiently on the STREETS.

-Antranik

  • http://profiles.google.com/gigior Rodrigo Suarez

    I’ve been doing the 55-60 for a while now, it’s part of the reason my little car gives me 32-34 mpg, I’m wondering how much more I can get if I actively pay attention to it as opposed to my usual passive notice of my speed.

  • Alexa

    You should do a bit on coasting with the flow of heavy traffic – the nice practice of leaving a good cushion between you and the car in front of you in order to reduce usage of brakes. 😀

    • http://www.antranik.org/ Antranik

      Ohhh there’s THAT and so much more coming related to hypermiling (the art of achieving ridiculous mpg). 😀   Awesome idea is awesome, thanks for mentioning it.

  • twinkle

    I totally agree with u not on milage thing cos i dont know about that but on the attitude thing. U r rite i m driving for 10 years now and i feel less need to be in speeding game than i have before. Plus the thrill and excitement of speeding is transformed now that i have matured as a driver.