Little things add up to make a big difference.

Here are some tips for green driving:

Check your tire pressure

A recent US Department of Transportation report showed that almost one third of all cars and light trucks in the US are driving with at least one tire that is 8psi or more below the manufacturer’s recommendation. For every 1 psi below the recommended pressure for all four wheels, a decrease by 0.3% fuel economy can be observed. Driving on under-inflated tires creates a higher rolling resistance, and it is estimated that this accounts for 1% of all of the gasoline used by all cars and light trucks.

In other words, out of the 234 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007, about 1.7 billion gallons of gas were wasted due to under-inflated tires. If you are one of these drivers, by simply adjusting your tires to the proper pressure, you can save an average of over twenty gallons of gasoline per year.

Relax - Avoid aggressive driving

Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking waste gas. Aggressive driving can cause average city fuel economy to drop by 5 percent, and highway fuel economy may drop by up to 33 percent!

By anticipating red lights and letting your foot off the gas pedal early, you can also save!

Take your time - Drive the speed limit

photoAn automobile’s fuel economy is greatly affected by how fast it is driven. The most efficient driving speed varies by car type, but is generally about 50 miles per hour. At speeds above of 60 miles per hour, fuel economy decreases dramatically as shown in the figure here.

Let us consider a trip including 60 miles of freeway driving and a fuel-efficient car that gets 30 miles per gallon at 55 mph (the posted speed limit). At 55 mph, this car consumes 2 gallons of gasoline in the 65 minute journey. At 75 mph, the same journey would only save 17 minutes, but use an extra 0.5 gallon which equates to about $1.50 at current fuel prices. It is safer to drive the speed limit, it saves gas, and the money saved from this single journey is enough to buy a cup of coffee or help offset a day of driving here!

Remove the junk from your trunk

Every time an automobile accelerates it consumes gasoline. For two nearly identical cars accelerating side-by-side, the one that has an extra 100 pounds of weight in it will use more gasoline. Depending on the size of the vehicle, the extra 100 pounds may decrease the fuel economy by up to two percent. This difference is more dramatic in smaller vehicles.

Carpool

If you have ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway and had a chance to look at the car next to you, you are more likely to see a single person in that car than a group of people. Call your local rideshare number or visit www.rideshare-directory.com. You will save gas money, use less fuel, and the time you spend picking up your co-worker will be saved by creating less highway congestion.

Plan your trips

Combining trips saves time and gas! Several short trips of starting the car’s cold engine may consume up to twice as much fuel as covering the same distance when the engine is warm and running efficiently. Planning trips in advance may also save time, distance traveled, gas, and money!