America has amnesia. That's the only explanation for why our elected leaders don't know how to deal with an energy crisis. After all, we've had one before. And how did we solve it? One part of the solution was driving 55 mph.
The 55-mph speed limit was repealed in 1995. With apologies to Sammy Hagar and his song, "I Can't Drive 55," we all have to start driving at slower speeds again.
The average driver uses 22.8 barrels of oil per year. Driving at 55 mph, depending on what speed you have been driving previously, could increase your fuel efficiency anywhere from 7% to 21%. For every mile per hour faster than 55 mph you go, fuel economy drops by about 1%.
According to fueleconomy.gov, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 20 cents per gallon for gas. In other words, if you're paying $3.60 per gallon gasoline, and you drive 80 mph, you're actually paying $4.40 per gallon.
Driving at slower speeds, along with other tips I talked about last week including regular maintenance for your car and keeping your tires properly inflated, could - and should - be our first attack against higher oil and gas prices.