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Slow down and lighten up: How driving habits can save you money

Is the junk in your trunk burning your gas? We put that to the test!

DALLAS — While some may try and utilize public transportation or invest in electric vehicles, the majority of Americans who drive automobiles have little alternatives other than to pay the skyrocketing price of gas.

But though we cannot control the price we pay, there are ways to control just how far their money takes us.

WFAA recently did a little experiment to see just how much can be saved.

We took two trips down US 75 from the Buc-ee’s in Melissa to FM 1417 in Sherman and then back; a trip stretching about 50 miles round trip. Each time we started the trip by filling our tank at the beginning and end of the drive to see how much gasoline was used.

For the first trip, we loaded 200 pounds of cargo in the trunk and drove as fast as legally possible to finish the trip quickly.

For the second trip, we unloaded the trunk, inflated our tires to the proper amount of tire pressure and then drove the same route on cruise control at a speed 5-10 mph below the speed limit.

The first journey, the faster, heavier excursion, exhausted 2.1 gallons of gas costing $9.31.

However, the lighter, slower second trip used just 1.3 gallons costing $5.94.

So by lightening the load, airing up our tires and taking our time on the highway, we saved about 1/3 on gas over the course of a 50 mile trip.

Though difficult in a Texas summer, turning down the air conditioner might also help that tank of gas last a little longer.

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