I had to use an old photo, sorry.

For Science!

October 17, 2012


My school is really good about letting me go to technology conferences (as long as it doesn’t cost any money). Last week I went to the Nebraska Technology Coordinators Fall Meeting and yesterday I went to the Nebraska 1:1 meeting.

They were both in Kearney, which is about 120 miles away. Last week I went in a van full of other technology coordinator type people, but yesterday I was traveling alone, so I did a little experiment. On the way out to Kearney, I took the interstate and on the way back I took highway. Here’s the data:

Start Time End Time Total Time Distance Avg. Speed Gas MPG Total Cost
Interstate 7:05am 8:45am 1:40 120 miles 72 mph 3.86 gal. 31 mpg $13.86
Highway 3:15pm 5:25pm 2:10 113 miles 52 mph 2.55 gal. 44 mpg $9.15

If those speeds seem low to you, it’s because it takes me a while to get up to speed. On the Interstate I was cruising along at about 80 mph, but the trip out has about 10 miles where the speed limit is between 35 and 60 mph. On the Highway, I was traveling at 62 mph,  but  the trip back has about 5 small towns where the speed limit dips down to 35-45 mph. There was also a little construction on the way back and I was just waiting around for a few minutes. I turned the car off.

So? Is it worth taking 30 minutes longer to save $4.71? That’s $9.42 per hour or $18,840 per year (which qualifies for food stamps for a family of 2 –they don’t count cats).


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About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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9 Responses to “For Science!”

  1. Lauren Said on:

    Hmmm…. looking at those figures makes me question your math: Why did you have to use math?


  2. Peggy Said on:

    Dang. Now my brain is all twisted in a knot & it’s only 9:00am.


  3. Brad Said on:

    In the money calculations of your last paragraph, you didn’t take into account the time you spent. If we assume you at least make minimum wage, which is $7.25 in Nebraska, now you’re only saving $2.17 per hour, or $4,340. That’s not enough even for a food stamp family to live on.

    I will suppose you make more than minimum wage though, so it might be cheaper to take the interstate.


  4. RON ROYUK Said on:

    Wha-a-a-a-a, Peggy? Don’t you like grammar blogs??


  5. Lloyd Said on:

    Here’s some bonus math… Can I use this information to calculate my city mpg? I normally get 38ish MPG on a full tank of gas, and my normal commute is 20 highway miles and 10 city miles. So I should be able to get my city MPG with:

    (44 MPG * 20 Miles) + (x MPG * 10 Miles) = 38 MPG * 30 Miles

    I think.


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