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Green Policies on Cars and Driving in USA

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 27 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Green Policies On Cars And Driving In Usa

Anyone visiting the USA will be aware of the heavy reliance there on vehicles to get around. With such wide open spaces and sprawling roads between most cities, even a short trip to the local supermarket requires a car in many states in America. Due to this, the pollution there has for some time been continually high, but thankfully people have started to realise that it’s important to protect the environment where possible. Air quality is slowly starting to improve and this is in part due to individuals taking responsibility alongside car manufacturers and government authorities. Cleaner burning fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles are starting to make their mark, but there are still a number of important steps you can take as a driver to ensure you’re helping protect the environment.

Car Emissions and Cleaner Air

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are stating that with the ongoing fight against harmful fuel emissions, air quality there is better than it has been in previous decades. Emissions from vehicles have decreased substantially, even though there have been more cars on the road each year – so overall, this is a great result. The reasons behind this are that:
  • There has been an improvement on exhaust emissions controls
  • Fuels in general are cleaner burning that previously
  • Engines have become more fuel efficient in recent years.

American Rules for Greener Driving

There are a number of essential tips provided by the American Government and driving authorities on how to be as environmentally friendly as possible when travelling in the country.

  • Plan your trip – Avoid traffic jams and congested areas. This leads to less stopping and starting which means that your car will be more fuel efficient as it’s idling less
  • Keep your tyres inflated – Conserves fuel and reduces wear and tear
  • Check your Air-Con – If you have any leaks, get them fixed. Some may contain chlorofluorocarbons
  • Tune your car – Not only will having a well-tuned car mean you get better distances out of it on less fuel, but also cars without proper tuning are prone to emit more pollutants

Car Equipment to Help with Greener Driving in the USA

Some equipment can help you be a more environmentally friendly driver. You don’t need to go out and buy and expensive Toyota Prius to at least attempt to drive in a more green way in the USA. Some helpful items your car should have are:

  • Radial Tyres – Improves mileage and gives you a smoother ride. This means you’re using less fuel
  • Cruise Control – Make sure you’re using cruise control when on the highway. It helps fuel consumption
  • Fuel Injection – Having a car with a fuel injection engine helps to regulate the fuel that is delivered to the engine

Essential Tips for Greener Driving in the USA

If you’re hiring a car, you can always specify to the hire company that you’re looking for a car that is environmentally friendly. You may find some of the hybrid cars are slightly more expensive to hire, but overall, if you’re serious about the environment then it won’t matter, you’ll be willing to pay the price. Other than that, insist on a new car as these will have catalytic converters fitted whereas older cars generally don’t. Once you have the car, there are a few ways to stay green on the road:

  • Remove excess weight – this will help your fuel consumption. The heavier your vehicle is, the more petrol it will need
  • Stick to the speed limit – this will lower your exhaust emissions in some circumstances
  • Try not to idle – it will use a lot of extra fuel. Choose to switch off the engine altogether

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