While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional average of $0.24 per gallon for gas.
No, speed limits are created to try to cut down on the number of accidents on the road. Higher speeds also tend to result in more injuries due to the increased impact in accidents. Certain roads, for example, have lower speed limits due to curves in the road, decreased visibility, or other factors which make higher speeds unsafe.
Not really. Speed limits differ in different states and countries. The limit is set by a combination of safety standards and the average habits of most drivers.
Cars are most fuel efficient when they are traveling at 55mph. A car going 65mph gets better MPG than a car going 75mph, but not as good as a car going 55mph.
The national 55 mph speed limit enforced in the 70s and 80s was meant in part to increase the average national fuel economy, in the wake of the energy crisis. So although the primary goal of a speed limit is safety, it can also be a tool to influence fuel economy.
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