SENIOR DRIVING EXPERIENCES

Feb 18th, 2013 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Benefits of Hybrids

We’ve been evaluating some experiences lately driving our Prius V (Toyota). It’s a snazzy red and we really like the car. But more important, we’re getting better gas mileage than the rating on the auto suggests. It is rated for 42 average; our average miles per gallon is 46, and growing. The reason is we changed our driving habits several years ago, when we got our first hybrid.

What changed? We accelerate slowly from a dead stop. We coast to a stop when approaching a red light. We drive between 55 and 60 mph on interstates. We coast whenever possible; the ‘EV’ light comes on to let us know when electric power comes on and the gasoline engine shuts off, so we know when we’re coasting. We like the challenge of having the EV light on as much as possible while driving in town.

As a result, we fill up the tank about once a month at a grocery store gasoline center that offers discounts based on the amount of groceries we purchased the previous month. Last month we got a full dollar off per gallon of gas, for a total of a little over $24 for the tank full (11 gallons). At this rate, and without any major out of town trips, we will spend $250-$300 on gasoline during the entire year.

The Down Side

But every once in a while we get some cold water thrown on our happy hybrid experience. Like yesterday. I was driving a short distance in town running an errand. Speed was about 25mph in a 35 mph zone. There was a white Infiniti behind me who kept trying to get in my tail pipe; she was really wanting to drive much faster than I. When I made a left turn, she went on straight, lowered her window and flipped me the bird. An “I Love Jesus” sticker adorned her rear bumper.

A little incongruous, don’t you think? She quickly accelerated her vehicle, using another 2-3% of gas unnecessarily, and sped on down the street, loving Jesus all the way.

I think about the movie we saw recently… “Chasing Ice“.  It’s about the rapidly shrinking glaciers around our planet. Pictures were taken over several years’ time, and it’s impossible to argue with the story they tell. I think about the white Infiniti pumping more carbon dioxide into the air, just because she can. How utterly sad for our planet.

We will keep driving our Prius. We will continue driving to save as much gas as possible, both for our budget and for the environment. And we will probably continue to find people in white Infiniti’s who love Jesus and have poor impulse control.

 



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