Georgia's Clean Air Force, a partnership with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, reminds motorists of easy tips for saving time and money on their commute, while contributing to cleaner air in the Atlantametro region.
"Parents who drive children to and from school and commuters who don't have children are impacted by the changes in traffic whenever a new school year begins. Fortunately, there are ways that motorists can save time and money, while also curbing the impact that their driving habits have on the environment," said Pamela T. Earl, Environmental Protection Division.
Using the acronym "GA AIR," the experts at Georgia's Clean Air Force offer five simple tips for motorists during back-to-school season:
- Get Your Trunk Cleared. Late summer is a good time to evaluate what you have in your car and remove unnecessary items. The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it consumes. Dropping 100 pounds from your car can increase fuel economy from 2-5 percent.
- Alter Your Commute. Inevitably, high traffic areas become even more congested as the school year begins. Drivers can avoid getting stuck in traffic by altering their commute. Ask your boss if you can arrive later in the morning, when school traffic is minimal.
- Avoid Idling. For parents waiting to pick up their children from school, it may seem convenient to keep the car running, but it's not. For every 10 minutes of idling you cut from your commute, you can save one pound of harmful carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The general rule is to turn off your engine if you'll be idling for more than 30 seconds.
- Initiate Carpools. Consider setting up a back-to-school carpool with the parents of four other kids in your neighborhood. This way, you only have to make one trip to school a week, instead of five.
- Ride the Road Less Traveled. Many commuters get stuck in school traffic while traveling to work. To save gas and time, research some additional routes to your workplace to avoid school traffic. Google Maps and MapQuest offer interactive mapping options to explore alternate routes that bypass school traffic.