Driving Tips

  • Before driving, consider walking, riding your bicycle or taking Calgary Transit.
  • Reduce your number of trips: The best way to reduce fuel use and save money is by planning activities and combining errands to reduce the number of trips.
  • Reduce your driving speed: The best fuel economy for most vehicles is 90 km/h. Reducing your speed from 100 km/h to 90 km/h improves fuel economy by 10% and from 120 km/h to 90 km/h can save 23% on fuel consumption.
  • Avoid aggressive driving: Aggressive driving, rapid acceleration, or quick stops has been shown to increase fuel use by about 39%, and saves about 4% of your time.
  • Share the ride: Carpooling or ride sharing reduces the number of vehicles on the road.
  • Light is right: The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it burns. Avoid unnecessary weight.
  • Avoid idling: Excessive idling pollutes. Turn off the engine whenever you can. If you are stopped for more than a minute, turn it off. In the winter, the most effective way to warm up a cold vehicle is to drive it. Idle for up to a minute and then drive away for optimum performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Use overdrive and high gears: While driving, strive for the lowest engine rpm at a given road speed by selecting the highest gear in which the vehicle will operate properly. Operate overdrive automatic transmissions in the overdrive mode, unless the manufacturer says otherwise.
  • Be aerodynamic: Reducing wind resistance on the highway by rolling up the windows cuts fuel consumption.
  • Minimize air conditioner use: Using air conditioning can increase fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21%.

These driving tips were compiled from Ontario’s Drive Clean Program and Climate Change Solutions web site.

(Update: The Climate Change Solutions web site was taken down on March 31, 2006 because much of the information it contained had become too outdated. The Pembina Institute launched a new website detailing their work on climate change. It provides easy access to climate change publications and media releases, and presents options for taking personal action.