Now that gasoline pricesare reaching record levels in many regions of the country, people are beginning to panic. No, it’s not a “War of the Worlds” scenario with citizens running into the streets screaming, but people are upset. Happily, there are things you can do to reduce your fuel cost outlay. The Alliance to Save Energy offers consumers these tips to cut gasoline use and protect their pocketbooks:

Ford's air filter

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  • Show your love of your vehicle. Keep your car properly tuned up, and change the air filter regularly, both to save gas and protect your engine.
  • Show your cool by curtailing aggressive driving. Speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking all waste gas and curb mileage by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). So nix jackrabbit starts and opt instead for slow acceleration from a dead stop.
  • Slow down! Speeding wastes gas and your money. Each mile per hour you drive over 60 mph is like paying an extra 10 cents per gallon, DOE says.
  • Inflate tires to the proper pressure, because this will not only increase fuel economy, but also to make tires safer and extend their life.

Of course, the Alliance to Save Energy couldn’t think of everything, so here are other gasoline-saving tips directly from the inquiring minds of Driving Today:

  • If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible. (If you own just one vehicle consider “borrowing” someone else’s car whenever you need to drive to work or make a run to Mickey D’s.)
  • Avoid “going nowhere fast.” In fact, avoid going anywhere. Sure, agoraphobia gets a bad rap in the popular press, but hanging inside your house all the time isn’t half bad, if you have plenty of salty snacks, adult beverages, and DirecTV with TiVo.
  • Combine your errands into one trip. By some simple planning, the use of computer mapping and a detailed knowledge of trigonometry, you can plan routes that will allow you to go to work, pick up the kids at school, drop off your dry cleaning, grab a takeout dinner, and vacation in Yosemite all without ever leaving the car. Now that’s efficient!

Or you could actually walk now and then, lazybones.

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