(BPT) - As gas prices soar this summer, travelers and commuters are looking for ways to safeguard their wallets and drive as efficiently as possible. By changing their driving practices and choosing the right tires, drivers can save significant amounts of fuel and help reduce emissions from their vehicles.
In fact, making a few simple changes to driving style and car maintenance can help drivers save as much as half a gallon of gas per fill-up, or two-thirds of a gallon for every 300 miles (half a liter for every 100 kilometers) driven. These adjustments can also help minimize harmful CO2 emissions.
Lower the resistance
The first step toward sustainable, efficient driving is to choose the right tires in the first place. Tires with low rolling resistance — the energy required for the tires to propel a car along the road — use less fuel and help cars lighten their carbon footprints.
“Rolling resistance has a huge impact on fuel consumption,” says Nokian Tyres Technical Customer Service Manager Matti Morri. “A tire with correct pressures and a low rolling resistance classification can save up to two-thirds of a gallon for every 300 miles (half a liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) when compared to the lowest-performing tires.”
To learn which tires have low rolling resistance, Morri recommends that drivers ask their tire dealer.
Tweak car prep and driving style
Avoiding idling, utilizing engine breaking, predicting traffic and preheating vehicles in cold weather can lower fuel consumption by up to 20%, according to experts. Even a factor as trivial as steering angles can make a difference — drivers should avoid sudden sharp turns when possible.
Maintaining correct tire pressure is also vital. Tires that aren’t inflated to their recommended pressure levels are less energy-efficient and more prone to blowouts and uneven wear. Morri recommends that drivers check their tire pressures at least once each month, and more frequently during seasons with fluctuating temperatures.
Efficiency and sustainability go hand in hand
Tiremakers who prioritize eco-friendly products are also likely to help drivers save on fuel costs, since rolling resistance and low emissions are closely linked. Drivers should look up the environmental records of the company that produced their tires. That will give a hint as to the efficiency — and environmental impact — of their tires.
Nokian Tyres was the first tire company to remove harmful high-aromatic oils from its tire compounds, and it crafts tires at the only LEED v4 Silver-certified tire factory in the world. At the company’s North American factory in Dayton, Tennessee, solar energy helps power efficient production of tires that are built to help save energy themselves.