Not sure how to do your bit for the environment? These eco-friendly driving tips can help you figure it out. Keep reading below to find out how to be an eco-friendlier driver! 

Roads around the world are getting busier and busier by the day. According to data from ONS, road traffic in the UK has increased by nearly 30%. Last year, the majority of households in the UK (22.7 million) owned one car, according to Statista

Now, while cars have become indispensable in our busy modern lives, there's a major price we're paying for the comfort and efficiency they bring when it comes to getting from point A to B: heavy air pollution. In 2017, data shows that greenhouse gas emissions from road transport made up around a fifth of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions. 

Traffic-related air pollution is a major source of exposure in urban areas, and it has been linked to various adverse human health effects. Some of these effects include cardiopulmonary issues, non-allergic respiratory symptoms and disease, and even an increased risk of various types of cancer in people with prolonged exposure to high levels of transport-related air pollution. 

Want to learn how to be an eco-friendlier driver? Read these six ways to reduce your carbon footprint on our environment while on the road: 

  1. Choose a green car

It's no doubt that the greenest automotive transportation option is to use public transport. However, not all of us have this option because of where we live, work, and how much we commute on a daily basis. 

Yet, if you can't leave your car at home, at least take a car that won't do that much harm to the environment. It goes without saying that you must start by driving a green car if you want to be an eco-friendly driver. 

Choose a vehicle that is energy efficient in terms of fuel and CO2 emissions. If possible, the best option is to get an electric car. 

  1. Take advantage of smart car technologies

 Most drivers don't realise how much using smart safety car technologies can help them be eco-friendlier drivers. Such smart safety technologies are emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, direct vision standard, lane departure warnings, or future technologies like vehicle-to-vehicle communication. 

How can these technologies help? By preventing road accidents, preventing unnecessary braking, or by preventing drivers from spending more time on the road than necessary. 

Think about it: when you avoid road accidents, you don't spend money, energy, and other parts to fix your car. When you don't use the brake unnecessarily, you don't emit more harmful gases into the atmosphere.  

As for the future smart technology vehicle-to-vehicle communication, it will allow vehicles on busy highways or even small country roads to wirelessly communicate with each other, helping to prevent traffic congestions.  

  1. Practice preventive maintenance on your car 

Auto preventive maintenance is the safest and most cost-effective way to ensure and increase fuel efficiency for your vehicle. From having the optimum car tyre pressure to cleaning and replacing air filters, these are preventive maintenance tasks that help improve fuel economy and acceleration time at your car. Data shows that doing all these tasks can improve your gas mileage by over 3%. 

What's more, well-maintained cars break down less frequently, meaning that by constantly checking and maintaining your vehicle, you're preventing more expensive repairs in the future. 

  1. Avoid idling 

You pull the car over, leave the engine running, and do the tasks you must complete. There's nothing wrong with that, right? Well, in fact, doing so has a huge impact on our environment as idling creates pollution, contributes to global warming, and wastes your fuel, and obviously, money. So, a lot of things are wrong with that. 

To be an eco-friendly driver, you must protect the environment even when you aren't necessarily driving. So, whether you stop at a red light, saying "hello" to a friend on the sidewalk, or talk on your phone while parked, turn off your vehicle even if it's only for a few seconds. This way, you'll save gas, money, and avoid emitting pollution into the air for no reason. 

  1. Share your ride 

One of the ways in which you can do your bit for the environment is that if you can't leave your car at home, at least convince others to leave theirs at home by sharing your ride with them. By filling all the free seats in your car, you'll help reduce the number of vehicles heading in the same direction as yours. What's more, your passengers can chip in with petrol money, so you'll save not only the environment but also a few bucks. 

  1. Don't carry excess baggage 

Do you have extra things you keep in your car and take with you on the road but never use? If yes, you should leave them at home because that extra pounds your car is carrying can reduce your vehicle's fuel economy. 

For example, if you're simply using your car to commute to and from work, you don't necessarily need a roof rack on your car. So, remove it when it's not in use and put it back when you need to carry more bags with you. The reason why you should do so is that the car is less aerodynamic with the rack on it, meaning that it is forced to burn extra fuel. Thus, with the rack on, your car is emitting more burned fuel into the atmosphere. 

Although these changes might seem small, they can have a huge impact on reducing your carbon footprint on our environment. What's more, adopting these changes won't only benefit our planet, but also your budget as you'll be spending less on fuel and expensive repairs. 


Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison