Drive wisely: Be a ROADS Scholar
Change your habits to lower your car’s emissions and reduce pollution.
- IDLING: If you expect to be parked and idling for more than 30 seconds, save gasoline by turning the engine off and restarting it again when you are ready to go.
- STOP-and-GO DRIVING: When possible, plan trips outside rush hour and peak traffic periods. Try to “smooth” your driving by accelerating and decelerating gradually, anticipating stops and starts for traffic lights, changing traffic speeds and so on.
- AIR CONDITIONING: Using your vehicle's air conditioner makes your engine work harder, which produces extra emissions and decreases fuel economy. Try opening the window or the fresh air vent to cool the inside of your vehicle. Also, park in the shade to keep your car cool.
- HIGH ENGINE LOADS: Your car burns more gasoline and releases more pollution when the engine is operating under high load (e.g., working especially hard). You place extra load on your engine by running the air conditioner, accelerating quickly, driving over the speed limit, going up hills, revving the engine and carrying extra weight in your car or truck.
- REFUELING: When spilled gasoline evaporates, it pollutes the air. Be careful not to spill gasoline or overfill your tank at the pump. Don't “top off,” especially in hot weather. Be careful when refueling outdoor power equipment such as lawn mowers and outboard motors.
- OBSERVE THE SPEED LIMIT: While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit also is safer.
More to Consider ...
Take a Break from the Exhaust!
This alternative commute program helps companies and organizations track and reduce the daily vehicle miles traveled by their employees and members. The goal is to lower reduce air pollution from mobile sources.
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This page was last updated on December 4, 2012.