Growing environmental awareness and rising fuel prices are now providing many motorists with the incentive to improve their ‘green’ driving and get out of bad habits that could be costing them dearly. Whether you’re concerned about the effects of your car on the environment or you’re just trying to save money at the gas pump, here are five effective ways you can cut the carbon cost of driving.
Acceleration and braking both guzzle up gas more quickly than maintaining a steady pace, so avoiding congested areas and minimizing stop-start driving could help a full tank go further, not to mention being better for your engine and your brakes. Driving above 50 miles per hour leads to a sharp increase in fuel consumption, so unless you’re in a hurry you could save money and the climate by slowing down.
Leaving the engine running will still consume gas, but many drivers leave their engines to idle even when they step outside the vehicle to get a snack from the convenience store or pay for gas. Drivers are encouraged to switch off their engines if they think the car will be stationary for at least two minutes.
The heavier your car is, the greater the force of resistance on the road, the harder your engine has to work and the more fuel it will need. Removing bike racks from roofs and unloading unnecessary cargo will lighten the load on the road and on your wallet.
Keeping your car in good working order will reduce the risk of breakdowns and ensure your engine is operating at peak efficiency. It’s not only the engine that should be checked for problems either, as damage to the exterior or windshield can also increase air resistance and force the engine to work harder, so fixing windshield chips and other minor damage is recommended before these problems become more serious and expensive to repair.
If you’re driving in a familiar area, consider whether there are other routes to your destination that could take you through less congested areas or over more level terrain, even if this will take longer. Setting off earlier or later to avoid rush hour traffic could also save you fuel and frustration. If you’re driving in less familiar places, GPS can be a useful tool for finding alternative driving routes.
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Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.