If you’ve ever driven a vehicle in Calgary, you’ve come across fast, aggressive drivers. You may be one of those drivers (I confess to sometimes being that driver). Many drivers may not be aware of how driving style and habits can affect fuel consumption as much as vehicle or fuel choice. Choosing an energy-efficient vehicle and regular maintenance help in reducing fuel consumption, but simply slowing down and driving carefully (e.g., coasting to a red light rather than speeding and breaking) are equally valuable ways to drive greener.
According to National Resources Canada’s Auto$mart Fuel-Efficient Driving Tips site:
- Decreasing your speed from 120 km/h to 100 km/h uses 20 percent less fuel. Follow the speed limit and use cruise control on flat highway terrain to prevent inadvertent speeding and, in many cases, help save fuel by keeping your speed constant.
- When combined, speeding, quick acceleration and hard stops—all considered aggressive driving—can increase fuel consumption by 25 percent. Driving smoothly is safer and more fuel-efficient.
The ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles site is entirely devoted to personal transportation and the environment.
The Alberta Motor Association Guide to Green Driving also has information on how vehicle maintenance, fuel choices and driving habits can save on fuel.
Here are AMA’s suggestions for “10 easy ways to get more out of a tank of gas” (more detailed information is on their site):
- Park in the shade
- Track your fuel consumption
- Leave early
- Reduce your speed
- Don't drive aggressively
- Cool it on the air conditioning
- Lighten your load
- Plan and combine trips
- Reduce unnecessary idling
If you'd like to read more on driving and the environment, you may want to check out the following:
Green Transportation Basics: a green energy guide by Daniel D Chiras
75 ways to save gas: clean, green tips to cut your fuel bill by Jim Davidson
(also available to borrow in E-book format)