This morning I refueled yet again, against my better judgement, at the Fas Mart near my home. I enjoy spreading the fantastic rumor that this particular gas station is "home of the world's slowest gas pumps," but today the pump I was at seemed al most normal. Perhaps it was because I was the only one pumping gas at the time.
So I put in 11.269 gallons and only drove 406.1 miles, so my mileage for the tank was a crummy 36.04 miles per gallon, worst mileage since last April!
Doing some quick (and probably wrong) math, my hot-rodding earthquake trip home at unreasonable speeds accounted for about 8.3% of the total miles of this tank. This tank's fuel economy was about 4.5% lower than the average of my last 5 tanks of gas. So, extrapolating from these factual datas, if I continually drove the Corolla like a rabid bat out of the fiery pit of Hades itself, I can expect to achieve barely 25 miles per gallon. Or something like that.
So as of this tank, I am resuming my pattern of taking the slow lane and driving like your grandma to get great mileage. I kind of rather prefer the grandma style of driving, as it becomes clear that if you're one of the slower cars in the slow lane, there's rarely a slower car ahead of you so you can maintain your speed and not worry too much about switching lanes to find the fastest lane of traffic.
If I am in your way, excuse me! I am in the slow lane, what do you expect to find in the slow lane? If you were patient and curious, you might find that the slow lane typically keeps moving when the fast lanes speed up and slow down, accordion-style, as all the "I'm more important than you and will cut you off to get ahead of you" people cause followers to brake and accelerate randomly.
My putt-putting around at a consistent speed is helping my lane to flow more smoothly. Of this fact I am confident. If we all work together and consider traffic flow as a whole, we all can get there faster. Sadly, the few careless selfish boobs who bob and weave through traffic to get to their destinations 30 seconds faster are adding time to the rest of the drivers who try to follow the rules.
But this type of traffic theory is a difficult lesson to learn, and people don't want to listen to it. So the majority continues to suffer at the hands of a relative few ignorant fools.