abasile wrote:But I'm not convinced that impeding the flow of traffic is worthwhile just for the sake of saving some kWh.
I agree 100% and never impede the flow of traffic. However, here is my definition of impeding the flow of traffic, and what is not impeding the flow of traffic (although others may not like it):
Impeding the flow of traffic - driving significantly slower than the flow of traffic on a 2 lane road. Example: driving 30 MPH up the Mount Baldy Road, and refusing to use turnouts so other cars can pass.
Not impeding the flow of traffic:
1) Driving 52 MPH in the right hand lane of the freeway. Those who want to go faster can use the other 3 lanes. I do this all the time, and often find that I have to either slow down or temporarily go into the next lane to pass a truck going slower than I am (on the way up to the Sepulveda Pass).
2) Driving 25 MPH in a 35 MPH zone when there is a stop light 50-100 yards away that is red. The flow of traffic is being impeded--by the stop light, not by me. Some prefer to race up to the light and eagerly wait for it to change; I do not.
3) Slowing to 35-40 MPH on the freeway when cars are stopped 150 yards in front of me. The stopped cars are impeding the flow of traffic, not me. As a matter of fact, if I can avoid stopping by going a bit slower, I will be helping to break up the rolling wave of stopped cars that is likely to ripple down the freeway.
Note that I have run into a few drivers (not that many, actually) who think it is their God-given right to race up to stopped traffic in #2 and #3 scenarios, and that I am impeding the flow of traffic. Very occasionally I run into someone who thinks that driving 52 MPH in the right hand lane is a personal affront to them, and they show their displeasure with various gestures. Neither of these happen very often, and I have noticed more people than in the past who seem to realize that it is the traffic holding them up, not a single "bad" car.