In my last blog, I wrote of my plan to drive with a self-imposed speed limit of 50mph on major roads where the national speed limit applies. As I will describe below, this proved successful, so I also began to look for opportunities to drive at 20mph when the limit was 30 or 40 – imagine that…
My primary aim was to reduce fuel consumption and, in future, extend the range of any electric vehicle I might buy. Secondly, I hoped to reduce wear and tear on tyres and brake pads.
What I did not want to do was to impose my speed limit on other drivers. So, in situations where I might hold people up, I was careful to ‘go with the flow’ and drive to the speed limit of the road.
Successes included a clear reduction in petrol consumption. On longer journeys where I would typically record 65 mile per gallon, I found 72-75mpg was achievable with lower speeds. Popping to town and back would usually cause a lower rate of around 60mpg and, with more driving at 20mph, I found myself hitting 63-70mpg, depending on how much stop-starting was involved.
Another big bonus was a big increase in how chilled I felt while driving. For example, at 50mph on a motorway or dual carriageway, I was rarely called upon to overtake. Less need to keep checking mirrors or over shoulder; less need to wait for that right moment to accelerate to the speed of the lane; less angsting over when to return to the inside lane to avoid cruising down the middle…
On the negative side, I needed to be more alert – particularly at motorway junctions – to the possibility of being in the way of other vehicles entering the road. I found myself speeding up to move out one lane or slowing down to let the other driver in ahead of me. I’ve twice been hooted by lorry drivers who seemed miffed to have to overtake me – sorry folks.
All in all, I’m pleased with saving a little bit of money and burning a little less fossil fuel when driving.