Close car windows at traffic lights
SIGNALISED traffic intersections were found to be high air pollution hot-spots. With drivers decelerating and stopping at lights, then revving up to move quickly when lights go green, peak particle concentration was found to be 29 times higher than that during free flowing traffic conditions.
As well as concentration, researchers found that as cars tend to be close together at lights, the likelihood of exposure to vehicle emissions is also significantly increased.
Air pollution is one of the top 10 health risks we face
“Air pollution was recently placed in the top 10 health risks faced by human beings globally, with the World Health Organization linking air pollution to seven million premature deaths every year,” said lead author, Dr Prashant Kumar, from the University of Surrey.
“Our time spent travelling in cars has remain fairly constant during the past decade despite the efforts to reduce it and with more cars than ever joining the roads, we are being exposed to increasing levels of air pollution as we undertake our daily commutes.”
How to limit your exposure to air pollution at traffic lights
“It’s not always possible to change your route to avoid these intersections, but drivers should be aware of the increased risks at busy lights. The best ways to limit your exposure is to keep vehicle windows shut, fans off and try to increase the distance between you and the car in front where possible,” advised Dr Kumar.
As for pedestrians regularly crossing such routes, he advises them to “consider whether there might be other paths less dependent on traffic light crossings.” — University of Surrey
ing that, tune in to traffic reports or follow them on Twitter. If you regularly find yourself stuck in traffic, it may be worth speaking to your employer about coming in half an hour later to skip the heaviest traffic – alternatively, plan your meetings in venues closer to home, at the beginning and the end of your day. 5. Take it easy and don’t drive aggressively
Aggressive driving behaviour such as speeding, rapid acceleration, racing from traffic light to traffic light and slamming on your brakes will all use more fuel. Edmunds Testing found that aggressive driving can increase your fuel usage by up to 33 percent which suggests you could effectively reduce your fuel bill by a third by driving more sedately. 7. Turn off the aircon
Air conditioning is another big culprit. Your A/C compressor is run by a belt in the engine and does use more fuel when activated. The added consumption will be more noticeable at idle. Testing has shown that aircon can account for about five percent of a car’s annual fuel bill and for the modern energy-efficient vehicle it’s about half of that amount. Ironically, driving with your windows down is not a better alternative.
The extra drag caused by open windows is not good for your fuel economy. It’s much better for aerodynamics to keep your windows shut. Of course, air conditioning uses the most fuel when the car idles. Keep your air conditioning turned off until you’ve reached cruising speed and then turn it on. You don’t have to eliminate air conditioning, but try to limit its use. — All4women
Researchers have found time spent at traffic lights contributes to about 25% of total exposure to these harmful polluting nanoparticles.
Make sure that your wheels are balanced correctly and your wheel alignment checked.