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Eco Driving

CAA believes in giving you the knowledge to make informed choices when it comes to how you drive, what kind of vehicle you purchase, and how you take care of it. We think it’s possible to save money, and help save the environment, through eco driving.


How to be an Eco Driver

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

Coast to Decelerate and Avoid Hard Breaking

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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.

Combine Trips

Whenever possible, plan your route to combine all stops into one trip.  Your vehicle is more fuel efficient when it is warmed up, so several short trips with a cold engine can use twice as much gas than one longer trip.  Combining trips can also reduce the distance you drive, saving you gas and time.

Accelerate Gently

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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

17-CAA-Eco_Campaign-ENG-Final-08Plan your maneuvers well in advance to maintain your vehicle’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.

Don’t Idle

If you are parked and waiting, turn off your vehicle.  Idling can burn roughly 1 to 2 litres of gas per hour, while restarting your car only uses about 10 seconds worth of fuel.

Avoid High Speeds

17-CAA-Eco_Campaign-ENG-Final-01As 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).

Decrease Weight and Drag

17-CAA-Eco_Campaign-ENG-Final-07Remove unnecessary items from your trunk, every 25 kg of added cargo increases fuel consumption by 1 per cent in a mid-sized car.  Take off roof and bike racks when you’re not using them, they decrease the aerodynamics of a vehicle.

Carpool

Sharing the cost and taking turns driving with another person or group is eco-friendly, cost efficient, and can help reduce congestion.  An average mid-size vehicle costs around $0.52 per kilometre.   Sharing this cost can mean significant savings.

Maintain a Steady Speed and Use Cruise Control

17-CAA-Eco_Campaign-ENG-Final-05Be 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.  Using cruise control, when safe like on the highway, can be an effective way to maintain a consistent speed.

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