Nowadays, there is no greater buzzword than fuel economy. Although people
have been worried about fuel mileage for years now, up until recently we
assumed that our concerns were temporary. We would worry about gas
mileage whenever there was a spike, of course, but as soon as the prices
went down again, we would get back into our gas guzzling trucks and go
for a spin. Intellectually, most of us have known for some time that the
fossil fuels are running out. We have known that, sometime sooner or
later, we would have to switch to some kind of alternative fuel.
Nonetheless, this concern has always seemed remote and abstract most
people. Recently, however, it has become a much more immediate concern.
My cousin is a perfect example. As a contractor, fuel mileage plays an
important role in his everyday life. He has always loved driving big
trucks, both because of his appreciation of their looks, and also because
they are great for building contractors like him. Recently, however, he
has become completely neurotic about fuel mileage. He actually bought a
device that automatically logs business gas mileage. At first I thought
this was neurotic, until he explained how much profit gas eats up. It is
quite a bit more than you would expect, especially if you are frequently
required to drive an hour or more to your job site.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to make a good informed decision
about alternative fuels. They have simply not been available for that
long. Bio-diesel sounds good in theory, but in the end, won't it pollute
just as badly as gasoline? As for electric and hybrid cars, although
there are a few working examples, they are still far from taking over the
market. In the past, many of us imagined that electric vehicles would be
ubiquitous by this day and age. Needless to say, that hasn't happened.
Short of switching to bio-diesel or some other alternative fuel, however,
there is a lot that you can do to try to keep track of your fuel mileage
and improve it. One of the best things to do is to switch to a more
conservative driving style. Although this may look like a stopgap
measure, in fact you can do a world of good. Just slowing down a few
miles an hour during the morning rush can save you hundreds of dollars of
gas a year. Defensive driving isn't only safer, it is also better for the
environment and for your pockets!