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 five eco-driving tips:
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.
Plan 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.
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.