How to Reduce Pollution and Automobile Emissions
Although gas-powered cars are harmful to the environment, today they are 10 to 20 times less polluting than those of the 1970s. In addition, driving safely and maintaining your car well will reduce its impact on the environment.
- Buy a new model or the last model in a series, and always choose a small car! On average, the smaller and more recent the car, the less polluting it is.
- Read the fuel consumption information label before purchasing.
- Have the car serviced regularly. Maintenance by specialists ensures that the engine is properly tuned and thus operates optimally, with full power and without excessive fuel consumption. Maintenance should include checking components like spark plugs and air filters, which are essential for engine efficiency.
- Make sure the tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires resist traction, which forces the engine to work harder and therefore consume more carbon dioxide-emitting fuel. Check the tire inflation about once a month. For an accurate measurement, check the tires when they are cold (while driving, the tires heat up and pressure builds).
- Avoid gasoline spills at the pump and don't overfill your tank. The spilled gasoline is particularly polluting because it evaporates directly into the atmosphere. On average, to emit the quantity of hydrocarbons corresponding to one liter (1/4 gallon) of gasoline from the exhaust, you would have to drive 12,000 kilometers.
- Before entering a long tunnel or traffic jam, roll up the windows and turn off the air conditioner, or put it into recirculation mode. Otherwise, pollution levels inside the car can reach up to ten times those measured outside.
- Turn off the car engine when you are stuck in a traffic jam or waiting for a passenger.
- Do not run the engine in confined spaces to avoid the accumulation of toxic fumes. The deadliest exhaust gas is carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless, but poisonous. A little lighter than air, it floats instead of accumulating as it goes up in the air.
- If you can, take public transport and train more often.
- Those who walk or cycle are much less exposed to benzene than motorists, and less exposed to nitrogen dioxide than bus users.