Media Contact: Matt Skryja
Walnut Creek, April 20, 2011
With Earth Day 2011 celebrations this week, AAA offers drivers some tips on how they can drive ‘greener’ and save some ‘green’ in the process.
“Many Americans are trying to make more environmentally conscious decisions, and that is especially at the top of their minds this week, as we near Earth Day 2011,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “There are a lot of things a driver can do to lessen his or her environmental impact while behind the wheel, and those things will also save them some money.”
Go Easy On the Pedals
The easiest and most effective way to drive ‘greener’ is to simply change one’s driving style. Instead of making quick starts and sudden stops, go easy on the gas and brake pedals. If there is a red light ahead, ease off the gas and coast up to it rather than waiting until the last second to brake. Once the light turns green, accelerate gently rather than making a ‘jack rabbit’ start. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can reduce a car’s fuel economy up to 33 percent.
The fuel efficiency of most vehicles decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each 5 mph driven over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.
Keep Your Car In Shape
A car that’s not properly maintained can produce more exhaust emissions and consume more fuel than necessary. Minor adjustments and repairs can effect emissions and fuel economy by up to four percent. More serious problems, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can reduce gas mileage as much as 40 percent. To locate one of 8,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities in the U.S., visit www.aaa.com/repair.
Choose a ‘Greener’ Car
When shopping for a new car, consider the wide variety of ‘green’ vehicle options now available. Also, if a household has more than one car, use the ‘greener’ one for errands. For more tips on greener driving visit www.aaa.com/greenerdriving.
Think and Plan Ahead
Try to combine multiple trips into one. Several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a single longer trip when the engine is warm. Also, plan the route in advance to drive the fewest miles, eliminate backtracking and avoid heavy traffic times and areas. The free AAA TripTik Mobile iPhone app can help by giving motorists turn-by-turn navigation with audible directions. In addition, the app lists daily fuel costs at gas stations near a user’s location.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to nearly 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.