How much distance would you save on any highway trip if you stayed on the inside lane of the highway for each corner? Yeah, that’s a question that you don’t hear very often but admit it; you have thought about it.
It is basic mathematics to know that the car has to travel a shorter distance when traveling on the inside of the curve rather than the outside. However, will it make a considerable difference or not when it comes to mileage? It wouldn’t really matter much if you were traversing the I-80. It is, after all, a fairly straight road. But what about the I-95? Now that is one curvy road where you will find many curves!
According to an experiment recently carried out; staying on the inside of the I-95 for the most part of an over 200-mile journey results in you being able to cut your trip short by almost 2%. That is to say that the actual distance traveled and the mapped distance differ by 2%. It might not sound much, but it comes out to be about 4-5 miles. Now that’s all the difference that a car running low on fuel would need or an EV that needs to make it to a charging station. It also compounds for the company cars that are racking huge miles.
The experiment made use of the Waze GPS distance and the actual distance covered was measured using an odometer. The car used for the experiment was Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.
Here’s the math behind the experiment; let’s say you are driving in a circle with a mile-long circumference on your car. Driving around half of it means covering 2,640 feet. Let’s consider that the inside lane. On a three-lane highway that features 12-ft lanes, moving to the outside lane means increasing the circle’s radius by 24 feet, and the net effect means that you drive an extra 75 feet. It doesn’t sound much, but that comes out to be a rate of 150 feet per mile, and after about 200 miles you will be adding 5.7 miles if you are using the outside lane to your overall trip!
The downside? The inside lane might be the shortest, but it is most definitely not the fastest!