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New tool reveals which bad driving habits are costing you money

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Mike Timmermann, Clark.com

Bad driving habits like speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking may be lowering your gas mileage by as much as 40%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

But are you an aggressive driver? If so, GasBuddy says it may be costing you up to $477 a year!

RELATED: 7 of the best gas station loyalty programs

GasBuddy’s Trips feature highlights fuel-inefficient driving

GasBuddy, the smartphone app that helps people find the lowest gas prices, has announced a new feature that highlights exactly when and where drivers have been guilty of fuel-inefficient driving.

With the new Trips feature, you’ll get a report card after each trip based on a 3-tier rating system.

In the screenshots below, you can see how the app pinpoints where during the trip a poor driving habit occurred, as well as whether it was speeding, hard braking or acceleration.

After analyzing more than 140,000 individual trips during beta testing, GasBuddy found that 78% fell into the “not bad” and “not great” buckets, meaning there were instances of bad driving habits.

Other key findings:

  • Hard braking was the most common habit, followed by quick acceleration and speeding
  • Georgia, D.C., California, Wyoming and Arizona are the top five places with the most aggressive drivers
  • Mondays are the worst day of the week for aggressive driving

Putting GasBuddy’s Trips feature to the test 

I decided to put GasBuddy’s brand new tool to the test. I drove from Team Clark’s office to a big-box store and back to see what it would say about my driving habits.

To get started, I opened the GasBuddy app, scrolled to “My Trips” and clicked “Go.”

GasBuddy My Trips feature
GasBuddy

From there, I was given a list of my recent trips. For example, I got a “great” rating because there were no problems with speed, quick acceleration or hard braking during my trip.

If you don’t want GasBuddy recording your trips, you can pause trip detection from the app. Here’s how to know if you’ve been automatically opted in:

  • iOS: If users on iOS had previously selected GasBuddy’s location services to be “always on,” they’re automatically opted in. Otherwise they’ll be prompted to opt in. They can turn Trips on or off anytime from their location settings.
  • Android: If users have given GasBuddy location permissions, they’re automatically opted in. To disable the Trips feature, users can set it to “paused” in the Trips screen.
GasBuddy pause trip detection
GasBuddy

GasBuddy says most drivers don’t even realize the way they drive is costing them money, and they could save between 13 cents and 89 cents a gallon by changing their habits.

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