Six ways to reduce fuel use, save money, keep our roads safer
(NC)—Like millions of Canadians who drive vehicles every day, you can take steps to reduce fuel use, save money, curb carbon dioxide emissions, and improve safety on our roads.
Consider adopting the following six fuel saving behaviours:
• Accelerate gently: The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you consume. In city driving, where accelerating consumes about half of the fuel used, you can conserve as much as 15 per cent by easing the pedal gently and gradually.
• Maintain a steady speed: By avoiding unnecessary acceleration you will not only consume less fuel, it will also help to enhance traffic flow, minimize exhaust emissions and deliver safer driving conditions. Consider using cruise control on the highway.
• Anticipate traffic: Avoid unnecessary fuel consumption by reading the road ahead and anticipating situations before they arise. This basic defensive-driving technique negates the need for sudden stops and calls on you to maintain your vehicle's momentum. The first rule is to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you and plan your manoeuvres well in advance.
• Coast to decelerate: By predicting slowdowns and removing your foot from the accelerator as early as possible, you can decrease your speed, conserve fuel and save money, all at the same time. Coasting to decelerate also reduces wear-and-tear on your tires and brakes, which in turn lowers your maintenance, repair and servicing costs.
• Avoid high speeds: Each vehicle operates most efficiently at a particular speed. While this varies from model to model, most cars, vans and light-duty trucks are most fuel efficient when travelling between 50 and 80 kilometres/hour (km/h). You also consume 20 per cent more fuel travelling at 120 km/h versus 100 km/h.
• Control the air conditioning: When in operation, the air conditioning system can increase fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent. Actual consumption depends on the vehicle's interior size, the outdoor temperature, and other operating conditions. Open a window instead, or, on the highway, use the vehicle's flow-through ventilation to cool off. If air conditioning is a luxury you don't want to give up, select the re-circulate option to help minimize the impact of air conditioning on fuel consumption.
More resources, tips and tools are available at www.vehicles.gc.ca
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