Let’s face it, no one likes paying for gas. Energy prices tend to trend upwards so gas prices most likely are not coming down. Almost everyone will look for ways to cut down on their gas bill which could span from watching the news with the goal of finding out where the cheapest gas station is to simply just not driving as much.
A common way to cut down on driving is to make all of your stops at the same time. For instance, if you need to go to the grocery store, shoe store, and doctor then complete all three on the same trip. By dividing those chores and doing each one individually (drive to the store then drive home, drive to the doctor then drive home) you can waste a lot of gas.
Of course, it may not always be possible but it should be done as often as possible regardless of how much gas prices are. Carpooling is also an effective method to save on your gas bill.
If you have a work buddy who lives fairly close to you then you could drive together and alternate who drives when. Those with children playing sports can also take advantage of carpooling. The method could be used for taking kids to school as well as to sporting events and practice. Not only will you be saving money but you will also be saving time.
Another method that drivers will often do to conserve their gas bill is to coast.
Coasting is when drivers do not have their car in a gear and instead have it in neutral. Using the momentum and velocity of the car, drivers can continue to move in their direction without having to push the gas pedal.
This doesn’t really work on flat ground and certainly will not be possible on inclines. What some drivers could do is increase their acceleration on flat ground and then switch the car into neutral which keeps the car moving. Eventually, the velocity will die down and the car will need to be shifted back into gear with the gas pedal operating.
The most effective way to coast is to do so on a downgrade. Starting at the top of a hill, one could put their car into neutral and let the natural acceleration of the decline operate the vehicle. This however is against the law in Nevada and there is a Nevada Revised Statute that dictates it. That NRS is 484B.123 which pertains to coasting being prohibited in certain circumstances.
What the Law Says About Coasting in Nevada
The first part of NRS 484B.123 deals with any type of automobile. It specifically reads:
The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.
Although coasting down a hill is not allowed here in Nevada, it is a law that is very difficult to enforce. It is very difficult for a law enforcement officer to know if you are coasting while driving down a hill. Most often, a driver who coasts down a steep hill will end up driving extremely fast and will lose control of the vehicle causing some type of accident. At that time, they may admit to a highway patrolman or traffic officer that they were coasting which caused the wreck.
There is very little evidence that coasting down a hill will save you any money when it comes to purchasing gas. This can be true for literally any type of vehicle but especially modern-day ones that have a computer-controlled fuel injection system.
That computer reduces the fuel flow when a car is in neutral and coasting and it works out to be about the same as when the car is in the idle position. The inner mechanics of the car’s throttle position sensor (TPS) is what dictates the fuel injection. It’s best to keep your automobile in gear at all times.
Penalties for Coasting According to NRS 484B.123
Not only is coasting downhill dangerous, but there is also really no economic gain by doing so. If there are any savings in gas usage it is extremely insignificant. The risk of causing an accident or violating the statute for coasting is not worth the minor savings (if there even is any).
If you are cited with a ticket for being in violation of NRS 484B.123 you will for sure face a fine. That fine will negate any savings in gas you hoped to achieve. Additional penalties could include demerit points against your driver’s license.
Depending on how well you have been behaving behind the wheel could determine if your license is in jeopardy. With enough demerit points, you could lose your license.
In any of these aforementioned scenarios, it is most prudent of you to contact an attorney to help you. Ticket Busters has these types of attorneys and legal help to assist you. If you need help, simply reach out and we will come to your assistance.
Some automobiles will shut off completely regarding fuel usage if the accelerator is not depressed and the engine is running at any RPM that is over idle. Other newer cars may also have an internal computer that can show the gas mileage at any given time. Some have tested this while coasting and found that while in that setting, gas usage could be estimated at 99 mpg. While that may not be totally accurate, it seems somewhat reasonable. Obviously to get nearly 100 miles per gallon (MPG) would be fantastic but for only the short while driving down a hill it is not significant. So again, it is in your best interest to not coast as there really is no gain for doing so.
Qualms About This Law
Many people believe that the laws regarding coasting such as NRS 484B.123 are outdated as they were written with old cars in mind that did not have synchronizers in their transmissions. Those older types of cars would really start moving fast if heading downhill in neutral.
Often times they would be traveling at such a high rate of speed that the driver would not be able to put the car back in gear to slow it down. Driving extremely fast without any way to slow it down without slamming on the brakes is a recipe for disaster.
In that scenario, it is really easy for brakes to overheat and burn up. If that happens you have a car accident in the making. That is just one more argument not to coast downhill in Nevada (aside from the fact that you would be breaking the law).
What NRS 484B.123 Say About Commercial Drivers and Licenses
Commercial drivers are also referenced in the statute. Those drivers who literally operate vehicles for a living have a greater chance of getting cited for traffic tickets simply because they are on the road so much.
If you are or know of a commercial driver that has been cited for any type of traffic ticket in Nevada let them know to call Ticket Busters. We can help and our contact info is a good one to have and save for future reference. The second aspect to NRS 484B.123 which specifically pertains to commercial drivers reads as follows:
The driver of a commercial motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.
Commercial drivers are well aware of driving up and down hills. With Nevada being the most mountainous state in the lower 48, those drivers here are certainly seasoned.
Runaway truck ramps are prevalent in some downhill areas for when brakes burn up and become inoperable. Simply downshifting can help drivers keep control of their vehicles. And that is the complete opposite of coasting. By keeping your vehicle in gear, you retain control by limiting the speed at which you travel. Staying in gear helps take pressure off of the brakes.
Coasting down a hill is dangerous enough in a passenger car let alone a commercial vehicle that may be much heavier especially when fully loaded with cargo. By remaining in gear, a driver can not only brake suddenly (if needed) with cold brakes but the driver can also accelerate rapidly if needed.
When coasting, you are unable to press on the gas and accelerate without getting back into gear first. Not coasting is not only better for the automobile but is also better for the driver’s peace of mind.
Whether you believe NRS 484B.123 is an outdated law or not, it does exist. Because it’s on the books it needs to be adhered to. As we discussed in this article, you will not save money on gas by conducting this behavior. It is also very dangerous to not abide by this law.
Aside from being dangerous, you could also get a ticket if you are caught coasting. If you do receive a ticket from law enforcement you know who to call for help and that is Ticket Busters. We’ve been helping Southern Nevada for many years and will help you too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is coasting illegal in Nevada?
Yes, it is. NRS 484B.123 states that “The driver of any vehicle upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.”
Are there exceptions to this law?
There are no exceptions to this law – all drivers must abide by NRS 484B.123 when driving in Nevada and refrain from coasting on downgrades.
What kind of fines can I expect if I’m caught coasting?
If you are found guilty of violating NRS 484B.123, you may be subject to a fine receive demerit points on your license.
Is there any way to fight a ticket for coasting in Nevada?
Yes, you can fight the ticket with help from an experienced traffic lawyer. Ticket Busters has successfully fought many tickets and may be able to help you too. Reach out to us for more information!