Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

Speed Etiquette

The price of gas sucks. Yes, I recognize that Europe has been paying theh equivalent of $2 per litre of gas for some years now and I certainly sympathize. However, I don’t live in Europe, the oil companies are raking in record profits raping us at the pumps, and the only reasons that oil is so high right now are fear, speculation, and George W. Bush.

But this is not a rant about oil and gas. This is a rant about driving etiquette, but fuel consumption enteres into it.

Because gas is in excess of $1.25 per litre most days ($1.306 on my way to work this afternoon), I’ve modified my driving habits with increasing my fuel efficiency in mind, mostly in the area of speed (and expanding my use of cruise control, but that’s a different discussion). I more or less drive the speed limit on the highway most of the time. Really. The difference between cruising at 120 and cruising at 100 is about 25% more mileage in my car, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less depending on road conditions and weather. This is a good thing, considering the previously mentioned price of fuel. And any extra fuel I don’t burn is extra CO2 and other crap I don’t pump into the air to make the planet hotter.

I do recognize that not everyone is slowing down. I can’t force anyone else to slow down. What I can do is set a good example and explain my actions and reasoning when asked or when it comes up in conversation. And there are also some things I can’t do for people who haven’t yet decided to slow down and who are dicks about it.

  1. Speed up and change lanes so that you can pass me sooner.
  2. Slow down and change lanes so that you can pass me sooner.
  3. Wait for you to get around to passing me while I run up the tailpipe of the car in front of mine.

The first two are bad for my fuel efficiency and the third is just dangerous. All three also assume that I believe your schedule or destination is more important than mine. If you’ll think about that for a moment, I’m sure you’ll see why I’m not willing to burn the extra fuel to make you happy.

Oh, and just in case it’s unclear, by ‘you’ I don’t mean you. I mean the idiot behind me flashing his or her highbeams in my rearview because they think it will do something other than piss me off. Unless that idiot happens to be you.  And then I do mean you.


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