B.C. Air Quality

Smart Driving Practices

Following these smart driving practices will save fuel, reduce air pollutant emissions and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle:

  • Accelerate smoothly: try to reduce the need to slow down and then accelerate by anticipating traffic conditions in front of you.
  • Avoid aggressive city driving. A European test showed that "jackrabbit" starts from traffic lights and hard braking reduced travel time by only 4% (the equivalent of 2.5 minutes out of a 60-minute trip). However, fuel consumption increased by 37%, and some toxic emissions were more than five times higher.
  • Slow down: excessive highway speeds add to fuel consumption over the same distance.
  • Avoid idling for long periods. Generally idling for more than 30 seconds wastes fuel and produces additional pollution.
  • Avoid warming your car up for long periods. Modern car engines warm up quite quickly even in winter weather - 30 seconds of idle operation is all that is required before driving.
  • Extreme cold may require longer warm up periods. In these conditions the use of a block heater will reduce fuel consumption and pollution. In any case safety requires that the vehicle be run at least long enough to defrost the windows before driving.

For more information, see Natural Resource Canada's EcoDriving pages.

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