To drive is to consume fuel. But, there are some effective and sometimes surprising ways to curb your fuel consumption on the road. To learn how you can save time and money, check out these easy-to-follow tips.

1. Just cruise

Excessive braking and accelerating on the highway can lower gas mileage by up to 30 percent. But using cruise control can increase fuel economy and your safety on the road. If you have a passenger in the car, take advantage of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes when available. They can help you avoid stop-and-go traffic and keep you cruising at a consistent – and fuel-saving – speed.

2. Follow the speed limit

High-speed driving significantly increases fuel consumption. In fact, for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, your fuel consumption jumps 7 percent.

3. Off, not idle

People often believe that idling an engine is better than turning it off and on over a short period of time. The truth is that idling your engine for just 10 seconds uses more gas than restarting a car. It’s not even necessary to idle your engine to warm it up to drive. A car’s engine warms twice as quickly in drive than when idling in a driveway.

4. Close your windows

Driving at high speeds with open windows will create drag and increase fuel consumption. So, next time you’re on the highway driving 60 mph or more, close your windows and save yourself some fuel. But if you’re going slow, feel free to skip the AC and put those windows down.

5. No junk in the trunk

Did you know that weighing your car down with cargo can reduce your fuel mileage? It may be unavoidable at times, but if you can, try to avoid treating your trunk like an extended closet. Every 100 pounds of added weight results in a 1 percent reduction in fuel economy. By lightening your load, you’ll lighten your fuel usage.

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