Families - Driving Behavior


Drive Smart and Save

Easy on the Pedals Large

General Tips:

Go Easy on the Pedals

Rapid starts and hard stops can increase fuel use by 40 percent but reduce travel time by only 4 percent. Accelerate gradually. Maintain a constant speed. Coast when you can. And don't forget to pick up your FAST LANE pass to avoid traffic at the tolls- this can save lots of time, as well as fuel. See below for some more tips on driving behavior to help you Drive Smart and Save.

Lane of least resistance.

In multi-lane traffic, choose the “lane of least resistance” to avoid unnecessary and unpredictable braking and changes in speed.

Avoid peak traffic.

If you have the option, avoid traveling during peak traffic times. With the roads full of other drivers, you have fewer options for using “drive smart and save” driving techniques.

Cruise Control.

Set the cruise control if you tend to continually increase your speed the longer you are on the road or if you have difficulty holding a steady speed.

Start up.

Wait for the opportunity to move: don’t start the engine until there is actually an opportunity to start driving. Make sure to adjust everything needed ie. seatbelt buckles, mirrors, before starting the engine.

Multiple vehicles.

Choose the one that’s warmed up: in a multi-vehicle household, if you have the choice of using similar vehicles, choose the one that was driven most recently if it’s still warm.
Choose the most efficient one in the ‘fleet’: If you have a multi-vehicle household or workplace, choose the most efficient vehicle from the fleet that will accomplish the task at hand.

Maintain a space cushion.

When driving on a multi-lane roadway, try to maintain a “space cushion” around you ie., avoid driving parallel to another moving vehicle in the next lane.

Maintain appropriate following distance.

Avoid driving so close behind another vehicle that you are forced to “immediately” brake if it begins to slow down.

Be smooth.

Smooth use of the accelerator, steering, transmission, and brakes is not only more comfortable for you and your passengers, it is also more efficient for the longevity of the vehicle.

Look well ahead and anticipate.

Your ability to drive efficiently depends on being able to anticipate changes in the driving environment. Scan well ahead of your intended path.

Drive the posted speed.

Drive the posted speed limit or the minimum allowed when safe to do so for the best optimal fuel economy.

Breaking tips:

  • Conserve momentum: avoid stopping, if appropriate, in traffic.
  • Minimize regenerative breaking on a hybrid
  • Coast in neutral with the engine off, if appropriate.

Transmission tips:

  • Use the highest gear possible. This practice requires less power while reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and engine wear.
  • Manual transmission: cruise in high gear. When cruising at a constant speed, shift to the highest gear you can use without lugging the engine.
  • Automatic transmission: use the highest gear/lowest RPM for posted speed. When cruising, drive the speed that allows the lowest RPM for the speed zone you are in.

Driving behavior tips for cold weather:

  • Wait for the snow plow.
  • Avoid wheel spin on ice and snow.
  • Avoid driving in inclement weather when possible.
  • Clean off snow and ice from your vehicle.
  • Turn it off. Don't idle your engine.
  • Avoid using the heater until the engine has reached operating temperature.

Driving behavior tips for warm weather:

  • Minimize air conditioning use.
  • Park in the shade.
  • Time your trip to avoid the hottest times of the day to reduce A/C use.