SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Increase MPG from Driving Habits


driver_dashboardYou can squeeze more miles-per-gallon from your vehicle by changing a few things about the way you drive. Improving driving habits can reduce the amount of time spent on the road, prevent pollution from the tailpipe, and reduce the amount of fuel used per trip.

Consolidating trips: When using your vehicle to visit multiple locations, thinking about all the stops along the way can help to reduce the amount of time spent on the road. For instance, travel to the furthest location first and work your way back home, stopping at the next closest location along the way. This method will reduce the amount of time you spend overlapping along the same route. Less time on the road means less fuel and less emissions!

Carpooling: Carpooling, or ride-sharing, is one way to reduce fuel usage that is fairly simple, and has been successfully utilized in previous times of national fuel shortages. Sharing a ride with a friend, or multiple friends, is a great way to get more cars off the road and reduce the amount of total fuel used in a given trip. For example, having four people ride in one car is much more fuel efficient than having four people ride in four cars.

Lower shifting: In vehicles with a manual transmission, shifting gears at lower RPM’s (revolutions per minute) can result in substantial fuel savings. Higher RPM’s result in more fuel used to reach higher speeds and horsepower, while lower RPM’s utilize less fuel. While the vehicle may accelerate somewhat slower, less fuel will be used to reach the same speeds.

Smoother acceleration: Accelerating more slowly from a complete stop will also help to reduce fuel consumption. Use a “lighter foot” on the gas pedal to get momentum in the vehicle towards your target speed.

Coasting to stops: Maintaining forward momentum in a moving vehicle uses much less fuel than having to reach a given speed from a complete stop. When slowing down or coming to a complete stop, give the vehicle plenty of room to slow down, instead of coming to an abrupt stop.

Idling: When a vehicle idles, it gets zero MPG! If you plan to idle more than a minute or so, turning off the engine can save fuel in the vehicle and reduce air pollution.

100+ Additional Driving Tips