POSTED: Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 10:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — As the summer winds down, and vacationers take those final road trips, Waste Management of Louisiana offers a few tips about safety and sustainability it has learned over the years to the public and its customers.
“Before our trucks hit the roads every morning, we make sure they are running safely and sustainably. We urge our customers to do the same with their cars,” said Warren Guedry, Manager – Public Sector Solutions, Waste Management of Louisiana. “Before hitting the road, make sure your car is properly maintained and that safety is top-of-mind, just as our professional drivers do.”
• Check your oil. Using the proper grade of motor oil can improve your gas mileage 1 or 2 percent by reducing friction between moving engine parts, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). If you change the oil yourself, look for a brand that has an energy-conserving claim on the label and be sure it contains friction-reducing additives. Also, remember that used motor oil can be recycled into new oil, processed into fuel oils or used as raw materials for the petroleum industry.
• Check your tire pressure. Gas mileage improves up to 3.3 percent when tires are properly inflated. Also, check the tread by placing a penny between the grooves. If the tread is not there, it’s time for new tires. Properly maintained tires are safer and last longer.
• When packing the car, don’t overload. According to the DOE, every extra 100 pounds shaves up to 2 percent off your miles per gallon. With most new cars, the maximum weight is printed inside the driver’s door jam. Additionally, heavy loads on the roof can make the vehicle more difficult to steer in emergencies and also increase the risk of a roll over. If you don’t use it, consider removing the roof rack to improve fuel economy even more.
• Don’t speed. Observing the speed limit is not only critical for safety, but also better for fuel efficiency. Traveling above 60 miles per hour, as well as the sudden starts and stops associated with aggressive driving, can significantly reduce gas mileage.
• Avoid idling. To save fuel, Waste Management drivers work hard to limit idling on their routes. While not as large, passenger vehicles should do the same. When unloading or packing a car, turn off the engine. Restarting a car does not burn more fuel than letting it idle.
• When renting a car, try a hybrid, which can go three times as far as a standard sedan on a single tank of gas.
• Ensure that all emergency equipment is inside the car and that everything works properly before beginning a trip. This includes an up-to-date map, first-aid kit, cell phone with an extra battery or charger, spare tires and tools.
Warren reminds Do-It-Yourself’ers that used car parts can be recycled, but should not be placed in the curbside recycling bin.
“Our drivers work hard every day to keep our roads safe and clean. Whether it’s driving on natural gas fuel, optimizing our routes to reduce emissions, or observing the safest driving practices out there, we want to see our customers do the same and enjoy awesome summer trips,” Warren said.