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Old 07-29-2013, 09:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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"I drive 55mph" on the 65mph interstate.

I'd like to get some advice, tips and personal experience from those that drive 55mph or slower on the 65mph highways. Here in the Northeast, the interstate highways have a 65mph speed limit. I used to go 65, then got comfortable doing 62, then 60, and now i like to target 58mph max cruising speed.

I know some hypermilers and members here do 55mph, and even far below. I did 55mph behind a truck on the less populated Intestate in NY once, and the mpg gain was fantastic! Please help me and other Americans slow... down...

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Draft the truck at the speed he is driving. Around here going 55 on the Interstate is an invitation to road rage. I hop behind a drafting partner or get on the older US routes and go 55 where there is no traffic.

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What can I say? I usually go about 52; if there's a nice tailwind I'll take advantage and go 55-58. I've not had negative consequences. Just do it.

Many years ago I broke my speedy ways by wondering what it would be like to only have a moped or EV that could only go 45... would it drive me nuts? I decided I didn't have to actually have a moped or EV to test that theory; all I had to do was drive/ride at that speed. Voila, the change occurred. I'm much more relaxed while driving and I don't care if there are any cops hiding anywhere anymore. Yes, I could handle having a vehicle that only has 45-55 mph cruise capability.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I drive 55-60 mph on about 50 miles of interstate where the speed limit is 70 mph. I am always the slowest thing on the road. I can't draft semi's because they go too fast for me. I don't remember the last time I had to overtake another car.

My situation now is far different from a few years ago. I had a Honda Del Sol and I drove it 10 mph over the limit everywhere. 80 on the highway. Passing people left and right. I enjoyed the speed. But when I started my job and had to drive 500+ miles a week, while paying student loans, my situation changed. I realized that driving 70 vs 60 only saved me ~10 minutes. The fuel savings are far worth the hassle of leaving home 10 minutes earlier.

I hear comments like "You can't drive that slow here, you will get run off the road". Around Kansas City, MO that is not the case. In the couple years I have been driving slow on the interstate, only one time has anyone honked or directed any kind of negative reaction to me. A trucker didn't like that I made him slow down up a hill, and he gave me a nice honk as he passed me down the other side of the hill. So for me, I take those comments with a grain of salt. Going slow (legally) is not an excuse for someone to have a fit. I don't care who I offend, who I make slow down, or who I "inconvenience" while driving. The fact is, everyone is responsible for themselves out there. If you don't want to be caught up behind me on the freeway, pay better attention and merge sooner before you are trapped. There is no reason that a slow driver would cause problems, unless the other drivers are not paying attention. As drivers we all have an obligation to follow traffic laws and drive responsibly. Going slower than the speed limit doesn't violate those obligations. If other drivers have a problem, they can deal with it on their own. Other peoples' issues are not going to influence how I drive my car.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I drive about 60 on a local 4 lane state road where the posted speed is 65 and most people are driving 70+.
When I get to the interstate i go about 62-63 on the flats and let it run on the hills up to the posted 70 mph speed.
I do see that some people are angry when they get stuck behind me but am happy when I get to the off-ramp stoplight and they are there waiting for me.
The nice thing though is I am not the only one doing it.
The sad thing is that I am constantly being passed by Insights, Echos, Prius, and other "high efficiency" cars.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Went to a Doctors appointment (routine physical) today. At the top of my driveway I was showing 3.6MPG. 3/10 mile at the stop sign at the end of my neighborhood I was at 21.5MPG. 2.5 miles down the road after my left turn I was pushing 50 MPG, from a dead cold start. At 20 miles when I made the u-turn to get to the Doc's I was showing 55.6 MPG indicated. By the time I got home after filling up a Wally World ($3.419 @ gal) I was showing 52 MPG indicated in my AT (6 speed dual clutch) Fiesta. 60% of that was interstate, in the right lane at just under 65 MPH. I coasted down the overpasses and every downhill section where I would not obstruct the flow of traffic.

I might have passed 1 car, had a gal all over my arse on the exit ramp but when I never touched the brakes, her SUV dropped back about 100 yards by the time I got to the merge coasting at the 45 MPH speed limit.

We are talking about an Interstate where at certain points, close to 100,000 cars pass over the same spot on two lanes every day (less than 2 seconds between each vehicle). It's a location thing with a lot of traffic density. Mix in some PTSD GIs coming home from combat zones as well as the rest of the idiots and I just don't see any benefit from becoming the hated rolling roadblock.

I especially don't like someone climbing up my arse on my bike. Generally I will stay off the Interstate, but there are times when it's the best of several choices. Other times you can get stuck and not move 1 mile in an hour. I get off on the frontage road where I64 goes from 4 lanes to 2 which is an almost perpetual 6 mile crawl even without an accident. Today it was a breeze but I have seen it in time to get off on Jefferson Ave and try to hit the light timing to get home through 15 lights in 7 miles.

Its a completely different story when I get outside my metropolitan area (only west), where you won't have any car within a mile of you on a 4 lane divided highway with a speed limit of 60 MPH, which is probably more like the rural areas some here enjoy daily. On I 64 the idiots will speed up to 75-80 to block you from moving to the left to let traffic merge at cloverleafs.

I guess it's just the difference between annoying the idiots or pushing them beyond their breaking point, which in some cases, is a real hair trigger around here, literally.

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepdog 44 View Post
I'd like get some advice, tips and personal experience from those that drive 55mph or slower on the 65mph highways. Here in the Northeast, the interstate highways have a 65mph speed limit. I used to go 65, then got comfortable doing 62, then 60, and now i like to target 58mph max cruising speed.

I know some hypermilers and members here do 55mph, and even far below. I did 55mph behind a truck on the less populated Intestate in NY once, and the mpg gain was fantastic! Please help me and other Americans slow... down...
You won't be harassed or run off the road as long as you do your slow(er) driving in the rightmost lane. It comes down to having common sense and using common courtesy.
 
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here is Utah the interstate speed limits are 60, 65, 70, 75 and most roads in the south of the state are 80 MPH.

I have found my mileage drops dramatically over 65 MPH. I usually shoot for 60 MPH, but sometimes this creates a rolling roadblock of sorts, which does not bother me much, but the folks here carry guns.

Maybe we need another president to roll back the nation to 55, as the famous "I am not a crook" POTUS did in the 70's.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 01:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I average about the same speed as Frank. There's no point in worrying about what other people think. That's their problem, not yours. When I used to drive 7 mph over the PSL, slow drivers were of no concern, since I passed them so quickly. Now that I'm a slow driver, I'm in my own comfort zone, and out of the dangerous high speed conga line.

I'm much safer in the slow lane than any of those tailgaters kissing each other's butts at 75+ mph are.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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When I travel with others, I tend to do 5 over the posted speed limit since the time wasted traveling is compounded by each additional occupant.

When traveling solo, I'll draft a semi. In Oregon, that means doing about 60mph in a 65.

I see no point in traveling slower than the slowest of trucks. It causes more lane changes, more potential for accidents to occur, and drafting a truck at a safe distance can make up for the additional speed penalty.

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