Families - Driving Behavior
Drive Smart and Save
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Conserve momentum: avoid stopping, if appropriate, in traffic.
- Minimize regenerative breaking on a hybrid
- Coast in neutral with the engine off, if appropriate.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.