Today’s Editorial April 27: Fighting higher fuel costs

Fuel prices are rising again, all over the world.

Although they aren’t yet as high as they were late last summer, there are ominous predictions that fuel prices will soar to record highs this year.

In Cayman, it’s conceivable we could see gasoline reach as high as $5 per gallon. We should all be asking ourselves the question of what we’ll do if fuel increases that much in price.

Some people will think it very difficult to do anything different. But there is many things people can do to conserve on gas, even if they own a big gas-guzzling vehicle.

Start by not driving as much. If you don’t have to drive, don’t drive. There are many little trips that be skipped because they aren’t vital.

Instead of making several trips to do a single thing on each trip, try to consolidate your errands so that you do many things on a single trip.

People can also avoid small trips by walking short distances. You might not think a short trips burn much gas, but it adds up.

Drivers should also slow down; the faster a vehicle is driven, the more gas it uses.

Gradually accelerate or slow to a start; quick starts and stops burn more gas.

Air conditioning should be used conservatively. Use the air recirculation setting when using air conditioning. And drive with the windows down when it’s cool outside.

Lighten the load in the car by unloading any unnecessary weight; the heavier your vehicle, the more gas it will use.

Keep your car maintained and especially make sure your tyres are inflated properly.

Consider carpooling to work. A recent caycompass.com online poll showed that more than two-thirds of the respondents got to work alone in a car. Carpooling not only conserves gasoline, it lessens the traffic problem.

Ride a bicycle to a place you would normally drive; you’ll burn calories instead of gasoline.

Travel in off-peak hours when traffic will not be so bad whenever possible. Sitting in traffic uses more gasoline and creates a lot of personal frustration as well.

Consider downsizing your vehicle. Don’t buy a truck if you don’t really need one. If you have a family with more than one vehicle, try to use the smallest and most fuel-efficient one to do most of your running around.

By changing some driving habits, it is easy to save fuel, and money. And with gas prices heading for record highs, the money saved can be substantial.

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