More than 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide is discharged into the world’s atmosphere each year by the cars that we drive. According to the United Nations, “The transportation sector accounts for 30 percent of greenhouse fuel emissions in developed countries … and that share is rising.”
By making small changes in your driving habits, you can help to reduce these numbers and save money at the same time. By driving smarter, you can reduce your fuel costs and your “carbon footprint” as well.
How a person drives ultimately affects the money he or she spends on fuel and the amount of pollution that is discharged into the atmosphere. Smart driving behavior, including everything from gradual starts to optimal routing with a GPS navigation system, can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent to 20 percent in some cases. So for every $100 a month you spend on gas, you can save up to $240 per year just by being a better driver.
The following driving tips tend to be both high-impact in terms of fuel economy and are easy for all drivers to control: * Pick the most fuel efficient car for the journey. * Minimize idling. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas and emits more pollution than restarting your car. Turn the car off if you’re not moving. * Avoid aggressive driving behaviors. Obey speed limits, accelerate and stop gradually, and anticipate stops. * Maintain the vehicle properly and regularly check tire pressure. * Remove all items you don’t need from the vehicle. * Get good directions or use a GPS system to navigate the best route. * Don’t drive with the windows down at high speeds. * Don’t run the A/C or heat for long periods of time.
Smart driving is especially important for businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles, because small changes can have big impacts on a larger scale. In the United States alone there are almost 15 million company-owned fleet vehicles on the road today, producing 45 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year. Fleet vehicles are driven hard, averaging nearly double the mileage, fuel consumption and emissions of personal vehicles. As a result, fleets are not only expensive to operate but are also a major source of global warming pollution.
Companies surviving the Great Recession are realizing they can no longer ignore the built in inefficiencies within their operations. By improving a fleet’s efficiency, companies can reduce more than 6 million metric tons of carbon pollution each year, as well as save over $2 billion annually. Telematics-enabled fleet management systems can help to significantly reduce a fleet’s operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
In today’s tough economic climate, profit margins are slim and companies must implement as many cost-saving initiatives as possible. In order to stay competitive, companies have to look very closely at every penny spent. Because a fleet management system can provide an ROI in less than six months and immediately reduce fuel consumption, plus produce ecological benefits, companies both large and small are utilizing them to create profitable, sustainable fleets.
“Wireless fleet management systems can put a spotlight on a driver’s habits that consume excessive fuel and emit unnecessary pollution. The most frequent of these activities include excessive speeding, idling and sudden acceleration and stops. Tracking these types of activities is essential to achieving a fuel-efficient green fleet,” said Yukon Palmer, CEO of FieldLogix. “We have dozens of case studies showing that with the right tools and strategy, you can reduce the average fleet vehicle’s operating costs by over $8,064 and reduce 2 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution per vehicle annually with modern telematics technology and proper driver education.”
By definition, telematics is the integration of wireless communications, vehicle monitoring systems and location devices. Telematics-enabled fleet management systems combine GPS navigation with state-of-the-art analytic reporting. Telematics devices can help can help fleets to improve customer service, productivity and safety while reducing fuel costs, labor costs, vehicle emissions and vehicle maintenance. Telematics system features can include real-time vehicle tracking, driver performance monitoring, route optimization utilizing real-time traffic reports, remote diagnostics of vehicle components such as the engine (to determine maintenance needs and report problems before they become critical), and vehicle emissions reporting.
Dumas is in charge of marketing for FieldLogix, which provides a green GPS fleet management solution designed to reduce fleet fuel consumption and improve productivity. FieldLogix has ranked among the 100 Fastest Growing Companies in San Diego for the past two years.