How to be an eco driver

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

Driv­ers can save hun­dreds of dol­lars at the pump each year, avoid costly speed­ing tick­ets, bumper re­pairs and in­sur­ance hikes and even pre­vent un­nec­es­sary wear on your ve­hi­cle, by fol­low­ing CAA’s five eco-driv­ing tips:

Ac­cel­er­ate Gen­tly

The harder you ac­cel­er­ate the more fuel you con­sume. In the city, you can con­serve fuel by eas­ing onto the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal gen­tly and grad­u­ally. To max­i­mize your fuel ef­fi­ciency, take five sec­onds to ac­cel­er­ate your ve­hi­cle up to 20 kilo­me­tres per hour from a stop.

Coast to De­cel­er­ate

Ac­cord­ing to one study ref­er­enced by Nat­u­ral Re­sources Canada, fre­quent “jackrab­bit” starts and hard brak­ing re­duce travel time by only 4 per cent, but in­crease fuel con­sump­tion by 39 per cent. A lot of energy is used try­ing to get a ve­hi­cle up to cruis­ing speed – energy which is lost when the ve­hi­cle is forced to slow down un­nec­es­sar­ily.

An­tic­i­pate Traf­fic

Plan your move well in ad­vance to main­tain your vehi- cle’s mo­men­tum. Read the road ahead, an­tic­i­pate road dis­rup­tions, mon­i­tor the move­ments of pedes­tri­ans and other ve­hi­cles, and keep a com­fort­able dis­tance be­tween your ve­hi­cle and the one in front of you. These driv­ing tech­niques will en­able you to keep your speed as steady as pos­si­ble and avoid un­nec­es­sary fuel con­sump­tion and safety risks.

Avoid High Speeds

As you in­crease speed, more power is needed to push the car through the air. Driv­ing at lower speeds can greatly re­duce fuel con­sump­tion. In fact, tests have shown that most cars use about 20 per cent less fuel when they are driven at 90 km/h in­stead of 110 km/h. Us­ing cruise con­trol on the high­way helps you main­tain a con­stant speed and will also save gas (but be care­ful in slip­pery con­di­tions, and con­sult your owner’s man­ual for proper instructions on the use of cruise con­trol).

Main­tain a Steady

Speed

Be con­sis­tent. Un­in­ten­tional dips in speed and sud­den bursts of ac­cel­er­a­tion to keep pace take a toll on your tank – and your wal­let. In fact, tests have shown that vary­ing your speed up and down be­tween 75 km/h and 85 km/h ev­ery 18 sec­onds can in­crease your fuel use by 20 per cent.

SEAN BRAY PHOTO

CRATER ALERT: Here is a shot of a pot­hole on Glen Roy Road, lo­cated about 500 me­tres north of the CPR tracks.

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