The growing concern over fuel prices, future energy challenges, climate change and global warming has also put the spotlight on the role of road transport in energy consumption and atmospheric pollution. Road transport’s share of energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been rising unlike that of other sectors.
For example, it has been calculated that on German motorways, the introduction of a 120km/h speed limit would reduce CO2 emissions by 10%, and a 100 km/h speed limit by a staggering 20%.
An Austrian motorway study on a 30km long section of the A 12 Motorway also concluded, that limiting speed at 100 instead of 130 km/h would reduce CO2 emissions by 11%.
From a road safety & sustainability standpoint, consider these tips for increased safety and for more emission efficiency:
- Avoid speeding and adhere to the speed limits!
- Mind your driving style:
- avoid revving up on short distances (eg. to the next red light, etc.);
- display an anticipating, smooth and defensive driving style
- avoid heavy breaking
- drive at constant speed and use the cruise control when possible
- Maintain your vehicle well:
- tires and proper tire pressure
- engine maintenance (air filter, thermostats, fuel injectors, ignition system, etc.)
- Don’t run your engine unnecessarily:
- Especially in confined areas like garages or underground parking to avoid toxic exhaust fumes
- If you must wait and need A/C rather find a place indoors
- Car utilization:
- Drive the car type/size and engine size that suits your needs (bigger cars and stronger engines typically consume more fuel and are less easy to drive)
- Car sharing / rotation (for example on daily commutes)
- Use Public Transportation
- Avoid short trips when you can use alternative ways of transport (walking is good for you!)
- Plan well, combine your journeys to reduce the amount of driving
- New car technologies:
- Advanced cars offer several functions to alert about maintenance needs and to increase environmental friendlyness (maintenance alerts, tire pressure alerts, start/stop function at red lights, etc.)
- Hybrid cars and Electric cars improve fuel economy, lower fuel costs, and reduce emissions
From an environmental and sustainability perspective, also watch out for:
- Car wash:
- Use proper car wash facilities and/or certified cleaners
- Avoid washing your car at home or other unsuitable places
- Avoid littering
- Car maintenance (oil change, etc.) to be done at proper facilities only