Purpose: It has long been rumored that by safe courteous driving, one could increase the average miles per gallon of gasoline. The purpose of this experiment is to determine whether slow acceleration and low top speed can actually save gas as compared to more aggressive styles of driving.

Hypothesis: It is the hypothesis of this experiment that less aggressive style of driving will save gas. The basis is that aggressive driving will hypothetically burn excess fuel on quick starts and this wasted fuel will slowly add up in the long run.

Equipment: Used in this experiment was a 1987 Ford Thunderbird turbo coupe, with turbo charged 2.1 L 4 cylinder engine, Pen and paper, and money to pay for gasoline.

Procedure: The first step is to completely fill the gas tank (including 'topping it off') Then drive excessively cautiously, including driving 5 mph below the speed limit, very slow acceleration from stop to top speed, and other methods to save gas, (running yellows and occasionaly 'misplaced' stop signs). After the gas tank is nearly empty, fill the car to the very top and record milage and amount of gallons of gas to refill the car. The second run drive extreamly aggressively, including beating everyone off the line, 5 or so mph over the speed limit and 'flooring' it occasionaly. Again refill the car, record milage and amount of gasoline and proceed in driving 'normally'   Refill, record milage and amount, and compare results.

Results: The following results were compiled over a 4 week period
Driving style Milage travelled Amount of gas used Miles per gallon
349.9 miles
14.65 gallons
23.9 mpg
329.9 miles
16.42 gallons
20.1 mpg
351.9 miles
16.564 gallons
21.2 mpg

Conclusion: Based on the results, it would appear as though the hypothesis is correct and gas is conserved by slow cautious driving. This is supported by the general increase in miles per gallon as one goes from aggressive to normal to cautions driving styles. Although the difference between cautious and aggressive driving styles is a mere 3.8 miles per gallon, expanded across a full tank of 15 gallons, cautious driving will net an extra 57 miles per gas tank. Although this equates to a savings of roughly 2 to 3 gallons per tank, the sneers and excessive honking of other motorist sways Scientific AmeriKen to support the normal to aggressive style of driving.

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