New study looks at how speeding affects fuel economy

July 12, 2013 12:00 AM

There are a few ways drivers can work to improve their car's fuel economy, and one of the most effective may be as simple as not speeding. Consumer Reports recently conducted a test to see just how much gas is wasted by speeding, and the results show that motorists may lose up to 14 miles per gallon when they travel at a fast rate. 

The review site used a Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4 and three versions of a Ford Fusion as part of the test. Researchers then drove at a steady pace of 55, 65 and 75 miles per hour in each vehicle, monitoring how much gas was wasted based on the vehicle's speed. According to the organization's results, driving at 75 mph instead of 55 mph for 200 miles results in 1.5 to 2 gallons of wasted gas and can cost an extra $7. 

When all was said and done, the average mileage dropped more than 27 percent between the recommended speed and the high speed for each of the tested cars. 

Not only can speeding hurt your fuel economy, but it also poses a safety risk. High speeds increase the likelihood of a crash, which would then require expensive car repair and may even result in personal injury, the publication reports. Driving smoothly, avoiding car idling and warming up the car to prevent driving with a cold engine can also be helpful in improving mileage. 

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