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Changing Your Driving Style Can Save You $400 per year – or more

March 13, 2011 · · Filed Under Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, LinkedIn, Technology, Twitter 

Source: Discovery News

“When people get instantaneous feedback, they can say: ‘Oh, look how bad my mileage was,” said Matthew Barth of the University of California, Riverside. They can also see the driving changes that bring improvements in their mileage.

The continuous feedback is important. When people just get advice on driving in ways that save fuel — like avoiding quick starts or slowing down on the highway — they tend to fall back into less efficient driving habits. “The problem with the static advice is it doesn’t really stick,” Barth said.

The mileage feedback encourages more gradual starts and stops and slower highway speeds.

With eco-driving, “you become a less aggressive driver,” said Jack Barkenbus of Vanderbilt University. “It encourages you to get your foot off the pedal a little bit more. You’ll find that on the interstates, going slower really makes a difference.”

Barkenbus said that a 10 percent decrease in fuel usage — and therefore in driving-related CO2 emissions — is a realistic possibility. If one-third of Americans did this, he estimated in a paper published last year, it would save the equivalent of taking almost 6 million cars of the road, or eliminating seven large coal-fired power plants. Those who dropped their usage by 10 percent would save around $200 to $400 per year.

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