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Old 05-23-2008, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Teaching Efficient Driving in School

It occurs to me that if we (as a country) really want to reduce our dependency on oil (gas) that efficient driving should be part of our H.S. curriculum or taught in some way in our public schools. We already teach safe driving, why not efficient driving as well. Afterall, it is something that everyone can do now, without waiting for our terribly (inefficient) government to act in some manner, and without modifications on our existing cars. We have the knowledge to increase the fuel efficiency of almost every vehicle in the country by utilizing the skills outlined here and on other sites like this one.

I am very impressed with the collective imput of everyone contributing to this site, and the increase in exposure in the media re. ways to save on gas. You all have contributed greatly to this, and it's just the beginning.

We have a very eco-conscious generation of young adults in our schools who really should be taught these techniques, if not as part of the curriculum, at least during some assemblies. The incentive to use these techniques is there, gas is approaching $4 per gal.

Perhaps, some of you might like to come up with a program to use in the schools and volunteer to teach these skills. This kind of assembly might at least be interesting enough to stay awake for. You might even be able to make a business out of this educational venture.

Just an idea on how to spread the word.

Great site, great ideas.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good suggestion. If you ask me, the whole driver training and licensing system of the country needs to be revamped, so this could just be one more thing they add in if/when they do. However, I doubt they're going to revamp it any time soon, much less put something in for new training that isn't anything more then necessary. However, when i was in high school they occasionally had drunk driving seminars in the gym and they were usually during like alcohol awareness week. Maybe they could start an environment awareness week and have a seminar or two about saving gas and driving smart.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There'd of course be a compromise. When I was in drivers ed last year, driving with the instructor was so gas-wasteful. Stopping fully (weight of the car has to shift backwards) and stopping twice at a 2 way intersection... fully. Break early even though the car is way ahead of you. etc. I just wanted to drive normally, ecofriendly.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Darin might have interesting views on this, since he did something akin to this for some period.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm all for teaching economic driving in schools, despite my pessimism about how much the students would apply it after the course. (wanna guess how much Spanish I remember? :-P ) Perhaps a voluntary class for those with cars that included before/after MPG ratings?
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well I'm giving it the good ole college try here in my city. I have sent a lengthy email to my mayor describing my accomplishments with the Vibe and how these types of changes can help save the city millions in fuel costs. Of course I pitched it as a position within the city where I would sit as manager, but if we took our experiences and broke it down to a game plan, it would work, work efficiently and truly start making an impact. In fact in my letter to the mayor I described it as starting with one department, evaluating the results then spreading out to the entire city fleet one department at a time. I also included a section on how to make the city as eco friendly as possible. For example, changing the blinking hand at crosswalks with countdown crosswalks so motorists could better prepare for the changing lights.

I am awaiting an answer, but if my own city mayor dismisses the idea I'll simply continue on from city to city or county until someone bites. I figure a 2% savings in a counties fuel budget has to be millions ... money that can go back into EDUCATION to start teaching the maniacs coming out of high school ..
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Old 06-20-2008, 01:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just tell a high school kid they can drive to more parties with less money for gas.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I like the way you think, Superchow...that might actually work
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A lot of efficient driving is safe driving, if anyone's tempted to think their different things. At least efficient driving practices like planning your stops with little or no braking or slowing down on the highway. Plus trying to drive efficiently tends to make you think further ahead on the road, which leads to safer driving. Of course, you do give up safety if your really extreme and coasting down 5 mile 6% grades in neutral with engine off so your power steering and brakes aren't working, but I assume all of us have some commonsense limits where we recognize that increasing efficiency would start to become unsafe
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Let's be fair: if we teach eco-driving, then wasteful, floor-it style driving should also be taught. We can't tell others how to drive, it's their decision. All driving styles should be equal, the people who want to learn how to do illegal street races should not be discriminated.

Just kidding. I had to.
I don't think eco-driving should be taught as a separate course, as in "Here is how to drive, and here is how to eco-drive". Just the whole teaching process should be changed to be more eco.

On the other hand, once people start driving on their own they pick up their own style (usually: get there fast), driver's ed doesn't teach to go over the speed limit or to tailgate, yet most drivers do.

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