Tip Three to Clear the Air – Drive Slower

Driving fast guzzles gas

It’s no secret that idling produces a lot of emissions – just sit in traffic with the window down.  Yuck!  But speeding also produces emissions.  At higher speeds, your engine performs less efficiently, gallon for gallon.  Wind emits greater forces on your vehicle surfaces, and the aerodynamics of your vehicle are reduced.  This results in higher fuel consumption.

It’s a car, not a rocket  

Think about it logically – your car wasn’t designed to travel at high velocity everywhere.  Most of the time, we drive at speeds anywhere from 20 mph in school zones to 40 mph on major arterial roads.  Engineers designed your car to function best at these speed.  Sure, those fancy air dams and spoilers help the air flow better around your car – and look jazzy – but they weren’t designed for excessive speeds.  While it may be tempting to “open ’er up” on the highway, just consider that the faster you go, the more money you’ll spend on fuel.

Tailgates up!

Oh, and to the fellows and ladies out there with pick-ups – science has actually proven that an open tail-gate reduces fuel efficiency.  Keep your tailgate up and bed loads secure.


Green Dallas, Office of Environmental Quality, Air Quality

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