UNION COUNTY – Union County residents can get big savings on gasoline by practicing safe driving habits, according to the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
“You may have heard that moderate driving is more fuel-efficient, but the actual results can surprise you,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “Moderate driving uses much less gas and reduces global warming emissions. It helps to make our roads safer, too.”
The savings from moderate driving can easily go over 30%, depending on a driver’s current habits. Four of the most effective strategies are also the easiest to do:
• Observe the posted speed limit. Fuel efficiency drops greatly at higher speeds.
• Keep a safe following distance. Passing, weaving and tailgating all involve needless accelerating and braking, which wastes gas.
• At intersections, avoid jackrabbit starts. Accelerating gradually is more fuel-efficient.
• When waiting in line for school pick-ups and drive-through services, turn off the engine. Excessive idling is illegal in New Jersey. It also wastes gas and puts more wear and tear on the engine. After just 15 seconds, an idling car uses more gas than it would take to shut off and restart.
For even more savings, keep up with routine maintenance, and keep tires inflated properly. Removing unused roof racks and keeping the trunk free of excess weight can also help.
Avoid additives or devices that make extravagant claims for improving gas mileage. According the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, these products are scams that do not work, and some may cause engine damage.
A helpful Trade Commission fact sheet, “Gasoline Saving Products: Fact or Fuelishness,” is available at www.ftc.gov. The fact sheet also provides more tips on cost-effective ways to save gas.
The Union County Office of Consumer Affairs can also help residents who have questions about consumer products and services, at 908-654-9840.
“Walking, biking, carpooling, and taking mass transportation are of course the best gas-savers, but when you need to use a car, driving safely and moderately is the green way to go,” said Estrada.
For more budget-friendly green tips, visit the Union County Green Connection at www.ucnj.org/greenconnect.
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