The AAA Carolinas Great Myrtle Beach Road Race showed fuel savings for those following the speed limit, determined the most efficient route and found three congested areas that motorists should avoid if possible.
A 2011 Chrysler 300 M averaged 31 miles per gallon, traveling the most efficient route, following the speed limit rigorously between CLT and MB. The route was 485 to route 218, to US-74 in Polkton to SC-38 which turns into US-501, then 22 (Conway Bypass to Highway 17.)
The EPA estimates for the Chrysler are 18 mpg city and 27 mpg on the highway and this trip resulted in a 31 mpg rating.
Three lessons learned, US-74 through Monroe is extremely congested and hurts travel time, traveling through Florence proved confusing and taking 501 into Myrtle Beach is slower than the Conway bypass (SC-22).
“It showed that going the speed limit relieves the worry of getting a ticket, reduces your chance of getting into a wreck and saves fuel,” said Tom Crosby, vice president of Communications, AAA Carolinas.
The shortest trip took three hours and 18 minutes while speeding compared with the speed limit route which took three hours and 36 minutes. Speeding resulted in a time advantage of only 17 minutes.
The quickest route traveling with normal driving behavior was the route that took US-74 after Monroe to US-52 South to Wadesboro, to SC-9 to 38 which turns into US-501 followed by SC-22 (Conway Bypass).
The Department of Energy estimates that for every 5 mph over 60 mph, a vehicles fuel economy is decreased between 7 and 23 percent.
Speeding is a contributing factor in one third of traffic fatalities in North and South Carolina.
This equates to approximately 730 deaths caused by speeders using 2009 figures.
“I had to make a conscious effort to maintain the speed limit,” said Whitney Berongi, driver of Route 3 and AAA employee. “After seeing the gas savings though, I’ll continue to focus on slowing down.”
The trip concluded at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, a AAA-rated Four Diamond resort, that is consistently ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 hotel in Myrtle Beach and just recently ranked by TripAdvisor as the top best beach destination/ hotel in the United States and sixth-best beach destination/ hotel in the world.
AAA travel specialists rate Myrtle Beach as one of the top five travel destinations in the United States.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.8 million members with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.