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The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

What You Need To Know About Energy

On The Road

The Impact of Driving Styles

No matter what kind of car you have, you can influence its fuel efficiency simply by the way you drive. Here are a few ways you can make a tank of gas go farther.

According to EPA estimates, driving aggressively (for example, rapid stops and starts or weaving in and out of traffic) can reduce gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% on city roads.
  • Drive Responsibly

    Driving habits can have a major influence on an individual's fuel economy. According to EPA estimates, driving aggressively (for example, rapid stops and starts or weaving in and out of traffic) can reduce gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% on city roads. Besides cutting down on fuel consumption, driving responsibly is also safer for you and others on the road.

  • Observe the Speed Limit

    Following the speed limit can have a beneficial effect on fuel economy. While thresholds may vary from vehicle to vehicle, most automobiles become less efficient at speeds over 60 miles per hour. The EPA estimates that observing the speed limit can improve fuel economy anywhere from 7% to 23%.

  • Avoid Excessive Idling

    Sitting with the car running gets you 0 miles per gallon. Usually the bigger the engine, the more fuel is wasted. When stopped for a while, turn off the car.

  • Remove Excess Weight

    Removing heavy items from your vehicle can also reduce the amount of fuel it consumes. You can expect roughly a 2% decrease in the amount of fuel used for every 100 pounds removed from your vehicle. This benefit is a function of the amount of weight removed relative to the vehicle's total weight, which means that smaller, lighter vehicles will benefit from this fuel-saving tip more than heavier ones.

You can further improve your fuel economy by taking advantage of cruise control, using the overdrive gears when appropriate, and keeping your car well maintained.

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Ocean Acidification

The process by which the hydronium ion concentration increases in the ocean, measured as decreasing pH. One source of ocean acidification is the dissolution of carbon dioxide, which forms carbonic acid with water and then dissociates into hydronium and bicarbonate. Lower pH impacts ocean life, including their soft and hard materials, and also human-built structures in the ocean, such as vessels.

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