So I stand (technically I am sitting) before you humbled. I was wrong. And you have no idea how hard that is for me to say, but I was. I was wrong about driving in general and hypermiling, which has become my new obsession. For many reasons we recently had to purchase a "new to us" (it is not brand new) car. The old car was still running but the just barely. Gas mileage had decreased dramatically, doors would not open, and the check engine light was a permanent presence while driving. All those factors lead us to make an upgrade. And in the new car there is a button that tells you the instantaneous gas mileage amount, which of course it then averages. All this allows you to calculate your gas mileage per tank. Well so far we are doing pretty good. And why because like I said I cannot stop hypermiling. I love it when the instantaneous number 99.9, and that is my goal to keep that instantaneous number as high as possible. That usually involves some sort of hill or a open road to coast on for a while.
See my problem used to be a lead foot. 9 speeding tickets later, and my new found respect for hypermiling has led me to ease up on the accelerator. When ever I can now I coast, slow it down a bit, and try to avoid breaking as much a possible. All this was a bit hard at first, but when I saw the difference in the numbers (and numbers don't lie) I saw the huge value in slowing down. Now I have to over come my urge to honk when someone breaks for no real reason.
I have heard that 55 mph seems to be the most efficient speed for most (not all) cars. This tends to be true in our case, we have a 55-65 mph range when we can really be fuel efficient. Going faster than that the numbers take a huge hit. But going even slower than that can boost the numbers even more.
So I bet you are all saying, crap another old lady driver who goes 7 mph. But those old lady drivers were so much smarter and were trying to teach me something. So to every person that I have ever beeped/honked/cursed at on the road for driving too slow, here is my official apology, SORRY. And for all the honks I am sure to receive for slowing it down, I know that you will one day thank me. So take your foot off the break, slow down just a bit, and see how far (in a safe manner of course) you can coast/roll with no foot on the accelerator. So fun to see your gas mileage increase and your the amount you pay at the pump go down.
Few tips, which I am sure you already know. To get your average miles per gallon you divide the total miles on your odometer/amount of gallons= mpg. There are also a bunch of apps that do this for you now. And if you want some info on hypermiling check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy-efficient_driving . People that live in place with a lot of downward hills you so lucky, as long as you never have to go up the hill (since that kills the average). Think this goes without saying, but walking biking, and public transportation are even better options to hypermiling if you have them. But if not have a great hypermiling day.