Briefly noted: some anecdotal evidence that truckers are responding to rising fuel prices by slowing down.
Coast-to-coast trucker Lorraine Dawson says fellow drivers used to call her “Lead Foot Lorraine.” But with diesel fuel around $4 a gallon, she and other big-rig drivers have backed off their accelerators to conserve fuel….
Dawson said she’s cut her speed by five to 10 miles per hour to save money for her company. Many independent owner-operators have slowed even more, she said.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to confirm whether this is just a good story, or a sign of a legitimate trend. But at a minimum, it’s a great example of the sort of thing that people and businesses do to deal with higher fuel prices—they cut back on consumption.
Like pretty much anything, slowing down has both costs and benefits. The costs: truckers spend more time on the road, and shipments slow down a wee bit. The benefits: truckers save some cash on fuel, and the highways get a wee bit safer. But given the surprisingly steep cost of car crashes, and the enormous wealth we export to pay for fuel, I’d wager that lightening a lead foot is, in the big picture, pretty good for the economy.