Fuelishness! -- The FuelClinic.com Blog

Top 7 Eco-Driving Habits of Fuel Efficient Drivers – Infographic

Download the new eco-driving infographic from the eco-driving experts at Ford.

 



Who Else Is Feeling Gas Pains?

We’re very happy today to get referenced in a Yahoo Finance post about the winners and losers in the run up on gas prices:

The efficiency complex. When push comes to shove, Americans are really good at figuring out how to do more with less, and how to get more for their money — and then turning those ideas into businesses. When oil soars, websites such as Gasbuddy.com, which points users to cheap gas in the area, experience a surge in traffic. And firms like Propelit, whose software enables trucking fleet managers to monitor the driving habits of employees (and provide incentives for them to drive more efficiently), or FuelClinic.com, which coaches consumers on ways to drive more efficiently, find that their sales pitches go over much better.

We are in the “winners” camp, apparently members of the “efficiency complex”… I’m not sure I renewed membership this year, what with the fuel prices driving up my transportation costs and all.

None the less, very happy to be of service, coaching consumers on ways to drive more efficiently.

What to expect over the next few months… rising food prices that will lag behind fuel prices by a month or two, as most of our food is transported more than 1,500 miles from farm to your local market. Super-commuters will be hit hard, as just getting to work will become more and more expensive.

Will we hit $6.00 per gallon as some predict… what do you think?



December 2010 Eco-Driver Stimulus Packages

I’m reminded daily by users of the site about the positive impact FuelClinic.com has had in their lives. I’m thankful for each one of you who has contributed your attention, ideas, time, and data.

We’re always looking for new ways to attract more people to the website, and to an idea so simple and effective that’s it’s helping thousands of people save hundreds of dollars, and lead safer and more enjoyable lives.

We’ve come up with a simple awareness-building idea… we want you to post your eco-driving story on our Facebook wall, and we will select one person each week in the month of December to receive a $50 “Eco-Driver Stimulus Package” gift card that can be used to buy gasoline, or anything else wherever a Visa card is accepted.

Tell us what you think of eco-driving, how it has worked out for you, and what you hope to achieve with it.



Georgia Southern University “Get Pumped” Tire Inflation Campaign

Georgia Southern University took a step in the green direction last month as its Center for Sustainability rolled out a “Get Pumped” Tire Inflation campaign. The Center teamed up with more than 80 student volunteers who informed ~400 drivers about the benefits of checking their car tire pressure each month. Volunteers also showed them where to find their vehicle’s recommended tire pressure in the driver’s door jamb, taught them how to use a tire gauge, and gave them a window sticker to remind them of the proper tire pressure and the date to check their tires each month. If vehicle tires were low, volunteers filled them up.

If all the volunteers and drivers make this simple change in behavior, the collective benefit of the Get Pumped campaign will be a savings of up to 50,000 gallons of gas $250,000, and 720 tons of CO2 each year, not to mention improved vehicle safety and tire life.

Student volunteers enjoyed the opportunity. Volunteer Jade McKibben commented “I really feel that I informed a lot of people who will spread the word about the CO2 emissions and the pros of simply maintaining the recommended tire pressure.” Drivers appreciated the free service, received unexpectedly as they went to their work out at the campus Recreation Activities Center (RAC).

Southside Service Center generously trained student volunteers and K’bob Kelly’s, Sugar Magnolia, and Gnat’s Landing provided gift certificates for the volunteers who educated the most drivers. Campus Recreation and Intramurals, Physical Plant, Parking and Transportation, Marketing all helped to make this event a great success.

For those interested in learning more about how to save fuel, visit fuelclinic.com for helpful tips and an online method to track your car’s fuel efficiency. Join the Center for Sustainability’s facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=142698357289 or find our website at http://cost.georgiasouthern.edu/sustainability/ for updates on sustainability events on campus and in the community.



FuelClinic Facebook Fans

Goal: 500 new fans on the FuelClinic Facebook page by the end of May.

We’d like to grow our eco-driving community on Facebook, a place where drivers can socialize a little more than they can on FuelClinic right now. It’s also a great way for us to stay in touch, we repost most (of the good) Fuelishness! blog entries there, and add some content not found anywhere else – and Fans can post comments to our wall, etc…

It’s easier than ever to become a fan, you can just click the “Like” button on the Facebook box on the top-right side of each blog page, or searching for “FuelClinic” from the search box on Facebook.



A first? Texting while driving leads to arrest…

…the driver also had a suspended license, so not exactly arrested only for texting.

Source: Union Leader (New Hampshire)

A Massachusetts man may be the first person in the state to be arrested for texting behind the wheel, which became illegal Jan. 1.

Lt. Gary Fisher said Stephen Judd, 20, of Dracut, Mass., was texting on his phone while traveling down Bridge Street on Monday morning, in plain sight of an officer. Officers later learned Judd was driving with a suspended license, he said…

…”It might be a possible deterrent and put some common sense in the driver’s head,” Drisko said. “Hopefully, it does. It is going to be in the next decade that you might see it be a nationwide federal law, because states all across are popping it in. It’s going to become a national issue.”

…”We’ve got to get the message out that this is a serious highway safety issue,” Adkins said. “It’s hard to enforce. It’s a habit. Kids see their parents doing it, it’s something a lot of teens have been raised on, watching Mom and Dad texting, but the best message is simply hang up and drive.”

The federal government has previously banned texting-while-driving for all federal employees, and in January of this year extended that ban to cover commercial truck and bus drivers.

Last year a study released by VirginiaTech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more at risk of a “crash or near crash event” than “nondistracted driving.” (Source: SafeTeens.com)

A recently released study (PDF) by the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more at risk of a “crash or near crash event” than “nondistracted driving.” As per talking on a cell phone, the same study found no increased risk for truck drivers and 1.3 times the risk for car drivers. There was considerably more risk associated with dialing while driving. The institute’s Richard Hanowski acknowledges that the numbers are likely to be different with car drivers. As reported by CNET’s Jennifer Guevin, the study also found that “texting took a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds–enough time…to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph.”

Many states have laws already banning texting-while-driving, and the trend seems to be spreading as awareness of the danger spreads.

What do you think about texting-while-driving laws? What about broader distracted driving laws that may impact your use of any gadget that takes your attention from the road? Add you comment here, or join the conversation over at our Facebook page.



Driving Tips to Improve your Car’s Fuel Efficiency

February 25, 2010 · Filed Under Community, Driver Training, Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, Its Up To You · 1 Comment 

Despite the ongoing debate on climate change, drivers across the world agree that fuel efficiency is the wave of the future. Car manufacturers are touting their eco principles and how their models will save you dollars at the pump. Meanwhile, governments are also requiring more transparency when it comes to green car ratings. In 2008, Australia began requiring stickers on all new cars that display their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

However, fuel efficiency isn’t all about the car – some of it has to do with the way you drive. In an effort to call attention to fuel efficient driving habits, Peugeot automobiles in Europe is sponsoring a revolutionary eco-driving competition, The Peugeot Eco Cup, to promote awareness of how your driving style can impact fuel efficiency.

The Peugeot Eco Cup is a competition, for those with a new or used Peugeot, to showcase their eco-driving skills. Competitors from 18 countries will drive the 400 kilometres between Paris and Geneva (the same distance as driving from Perth to the port city of Albany) on as little diesel fuel as possible. The drive must be completed within 36 hours and the route includes a number of key cites that are symbolic to the Peugeot brand.

Each country will have a team that includes drivers for each of the four fuel efficient diesel models in the Peugeot line. The aim will be for competitors to make the trip burning as little fuel as possible by employing whatever “eco-driving” strategies they can.

While you might not be signed up to the Eco Cup Challenge, you can get your hands on one of the hot fuel efficient diesel models at a Sydney Peugeot dealer. There are also a number of driving strategies that you can take away to help improve the fuel efficiency of vehicle. Sensible eco-driving can make a difference to the environment and to your hip pocket.

Consider these fuel saving driving tips:

Pump up - Ensure your car’s tyres are inflated properly, inspecting them at least every two months. Underinflated tyres can decrease fuel efficiency by over 3%, and reduce their tread life, requiring them to be replaced sooner.

Switch Off - Turn off the air conditioning, especially when driving in the city. Air conditioning and other electronics consume energy which increases the need for fuel. This can decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by as much as 25%.

Don’t Idle - If you stop for more than 20-30 seconds, turn off the engine. Restarting your engine actually consumes less fuel than idling for long periods of time.

Slow Down - Drive the speed limit, especially on highways. Driving faster will increase your engine’s RPMs which uses up more fuel – slowing down by 10 kilometres per hour can reduce petrol consumption by as much as 10%.

Steady on - Maintain a constant speed and avoid frequent braking and acceleration as this increases the fuel consumption of your vehicle. If your car has a speed regulator or cruise control, use it to maintain a constant speed. When slowing down, use engine stopping instead of applying the brakes to stretch your take even further.

The Eco Cup Challenge starts in Paris on 4 March 2010.



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