STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Accelerate & Brake Smoothly

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
You can get yourself a more fuel-efficient car without paying any money. All you have to do is change your driving habits. Instead of flooring the pedal when the light turns green and speeding off to the next red light—where you’ll slam on the brakes—try a smoother, lighter approach to driving. It can actually make a big dent in the gas you use—and consequently lower pollutant emissions and lower gas expenses. And it’s safer to boot!

Tips & Tricks
The Zen of driving: avoid aggression. Don’t accelerate towards stop signs or red lights. Don’t go for “jack rabbit” starts. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage as much as 33%.

Use cruise control on even terrain. This feature, available on many cars, helps you maintain constant speed. It generally will save gas on even terrain, but may not on especially hilly roads.

Web & Print Resources
Fuel-efficient driving tips:
www.fueleconomy.gov
www.edmunds.com
www.shell.com
www.consumerenergycenter.org

Fun Facts

One study showed that less aggressive driving (more coasting and gradual acceleration) could reduce fuel consumption by 42%.

On April 4th 2006, John and Helen Taylor set a new World Record for fuel efficiency, having driven for 78 days, 18,000 miles, across 25 countries, using just 24 tanks of fuel and averaging an impressive 52.3 miles per gallon.