Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Smart Summer Driving

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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As the weather warms up, many people are hitting the road for summer vacation.  The Alliance to Save Energy calculated that the average U.S. household will spend nearly 3,500 dollars fueling up vehicles this year, even with lower gas prices.  The good news is that maintaining your vehicle and using smart driving techniques can make the gas in your tank last longer – and put a few dollars back in your pocket.  And, a well-maintained vehicle emits fewer pollutants that contribute to ground-level ozone pollution on hot summer days.

Viewer Tip:  Whether you’re driving cross-country or making your daily commute, these tips can help save fuel and money.

  • Keep tires properly inflated.  You’ll increase mileage by up to 3.3 percent and save about 60 dollars per year.  Check the vehicle owner’s manual for the proper pressure levels.
  • Lose the extra baggage.  Leave any unnecessary items at home to lighten the load – for every 100 extra pounds, mileage drops by about two percent.  That’s about 40 dollars wasted.
  • Chill out.  Aggressive driving – speeding, quick acceleration and rapid breaking – can drop gas mileage significantly at highway speeds, to the tune of about 980 dollars per year!  Around town, aggressive driving can drop mileage by about five percent, costing 98 dollars per year.
  • Kill the engine.  Idling gets zero miles per gallon.  Depending on the size of your vehicle’s engine and how much air conditioning you use, you could waste up to half a gallon of fuel per hour sitting idle.  Turning off the engine and restarting uses minimal fuel and reduces emissions.

Visit for more smart driving tips.  And for more weather and environment tips, visit Earth Gauge!

(Sources: The Alliance to Save Energy. “Fuel Efficiency the ‘Way to Go’ This Summer Driving Season.”; Image courtesy of

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