Guest Post: Daniel Gray of MPGOmatic on Less Stress = Better Gas Mileage

driving fast

Are fuel costs stressing you out? Can’t spring for a new fuel-sipping ride? When you seek to improve the fuel-efficiency of a vehicle, the journey must start inside your own head. When you learn to control emotions on the road, you reduce the impulse to stomp on the pedals. Eliminate those aggressive tendencies and you’ll experience a significant improvement in your vehicle’s mile per gallon (MPG) average.

Of course, while that mantra might sound swell and dandy, does it really work when you’re stuck in traffic twice a day, five days a week? It all depends on the strategies you employ.

Some things to consider:


Driving to work every day can be burdensome and wasteful (on many levels). Any opportunity you have to work from home is an opportunity to dramatically reduce your fuel costs and lower your stress level.

Use Flex Time

Leaving fifteen minutes earlier or later can have a significant impact on your commuting time and fuel consumption. Avoiding the worst of stop and go traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours can boost your car’s average gas mileage.

Don’t Be In a Hurry

When all works as planned, those 15 minutes of slack in your schedule can prove to be quite relaxing. If you’re not in a hurry, you’ll go easier on the pedals.

Be Conscious and Conscientious

Know where your right foot is at all times. Seek to minimize the duration and intensity of the pressure you put on the accelerator. The more pressure you exert, the more fuel you’re wasting.

It Isn’t a Race

You don’t have to pass three cars on your way to the next traffic light. Let the other folks pretend that they’re driving in the Daytona 500.

Know Your Lanes

Be a good citizen on the highway. If you want to fly, the left lane is for you. If you’re traveling at the speed limit (or below), the right lane is where you should be…just be sure to make room for the folks that are merging. If it’s a three-lane highway, the center lane is for folks traveling through, at or above the speed limit, but below warp speed. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Stop Riding Those Bumpers

Unless you enjoy the exhaust smell of the vehicle in front of you, there’s no reason to crawl up its rear bumper (and raise everyone’s blood pressure). When you leave plenty of distance between cars, you reduce the need to stomp on the brakes, which leads us to…

Inertia is Your Friend

It’s been said that fuel-efficient driving is a lot like riding a bicycle. The more you can coast (with the automatic transmission in gear), the better. When you exert pressure on the pedals, you’re expending energy. The better you know your car, the more velocity you can safely carry through the corners.

Fuel-efficient driving needn’t be boring, nor should it infuriate your passengers or other drivers. Like so many things in life, some simple breathing techniques and a good bit of patience go a long way.

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Daniel Gray, who produces real-world video car reviews with a unique focus on fuel efficiency. His fun and friendly reviews can be found at Thanks for the great tips, Daniel!

Image: celerrimus