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Westport Authors' Take on America's Love of Wheels

It may feel like you spend most of your driving time commuting to and from work. But it's the shopping trips that put the most miles on your car--and do the most to congest roads, with 1 p.m. Saturday taking top honors as the week's most congested time. Anne Lutz Fernandez, an English teacher at Staples High School, author and former corporate executive, dissects the national love affair with driving in her new book, "Carjacked," co-authored by her sister, Catherine Lutz.

The sisters have dug deep into their own driving history, looking back at their childhood in the 1960s, and how cars figured into every key relationship they've had. "Between the two of us, we have owned nine cars and driven eleven others belonging to the important people in our lives--our parents, boyfriends, husbands," they write. "We have driven or ridden an estimated 600,000 miles, consuming around 30,000 gallons of gas.  To do this, combined, we have spent an estimated 25,000 hours in the car."

Feel exhausted yet?  Fernandez says if driving were a job, she'd have already put in 3,125 eight-hour days, or more than six years of her life.  And yet, she says, her book is forward-looking--focusing on how to have a healthier, cheaper and greener relationship with your beloved wheels. "For most of us, the choice is not between the car and no car," Fernandez says. "It is about whether it is possible to drive less and pay less for it."

The book's filled with interviews with Connecticut drivers and some hometown stories, including Fernandez' failed effort to find and buy a Toyota Prius is Fairfield County.  (She bought one in Eastern Connecticut)

Learn more about "Carjacked" at the authors' website, www.carjacked.org .

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