Published on17 June 2020.
There are several ways you can reduce your environmental impact when driving a vehicle. These chiefly involve adopting eco-driving practices and giving more thought to your journeys. We take a closer look at what you as a driver can do to limit your impact on the planet.
Adopting eco-driving practices: how does it work in practice?
The way you behave at the wheel of your vehicle can help reduce your environmental impact. Driving in a community-spirited manner helps “reduce your fuel consumption, limit greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming and reduce the risks of accidents”. Here are the main rules for practising eco-driving.
Smooth driving is a driving style in which you pull away gently and avoid accelerating unnecessarily. It’s also a form of driving in which you anticipate slowdowns and use engine braking more than the brake pedal.
Maintain your vehicle
A vehicle in good condition will consume less fuel than a vehicle whose tyres are underinflated for example. Regularly check your engine oil and brake fluid levels, and ensure that your tyres are properly inflated, etc. You should also note that eliminating any unnecessary weight (a permanently installed roof box for example), will help reduce fuel consumption and with it your environmental impact.
Reduce your average speed
By reducing your driving speed, you will be limiting your CO2 emissions. On their website, La Sécurité Routière (the French road safety organisation), explains that reducing your speed by 10 kilometers per hour will enable you to cut your CO2 emissions by 12.5% (i.e. 12 kg) over 500 km.
Also, don’t forget to turn off your engine if you are stationary for more than 30 seconds. Finally, you should be aware that there are courses available which provide training in eco-driving best practices. You can obtain further details from the driving schools in your town for example.
Did you know? : By using AdBlue® in your Diesel vehicle, you can reduce virtually all nitrogen oxide emissions and meet the pollution levels required by the Euro 6 European standard. However, this in no way prevents you from practising eco-driving, which will also help you to reduce your fuel consumption.
How do you optimise your journeys?
Adopting eco-driving also entails giving careful thought to the distance to be covered, the number of passengers and the type of journey before setting out.
Whether for regular journeys or when setting off on holiday, sharing a car is a great way to travel in a more environmentally responsible manner.
According to the French Environmental and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), “the more people sharing the car, the less it pollutes: – 50% for two passengers, – 75% for four passengers”.
Combine several transport methods
Public transport, bicycles and walking are other solutions you can envisage for getting around. You can combine several transport methods for the same journey: this is known as intermodality. The idea is to undertake your journey while limiting the use of your vehicle when you are the sole occupant.
Did you know? : There are park-and-ride car parks located around the main cities. These park-and-ride car parks are available to drivers, who can leave their vehicle there and continue their journey to the town centre using public transport.