400 Denver drivers volunteered to have their driving methods tracked in order to test whether feedback about poor driving habits changed behavior. The results of the year-long study are in: participants reduced gas consumptions by 10% simply because they were informed about the impact of their driving.
Slow down! Your passengers (and wallet)
will thank you.
The study used a device called an accelerometer to track the drivers' habits. Everytime a participant slammed on the gas pedal or left the car idling when not in traffic the device recorded gas usage and uploaded the data to a website. Drivers could then check their progress on-line.
When confronted with the cold, hard facts of their driving habits (e.g. cruddy gas mileage) the study participants changed their behavior and reaped the rewards - 10% reduction in gas use and 16% reduction in carbon dioxide, or global warming, emissions.
This study helps back up something I keep hearing personal stories about: When cars, such as the Toyota Prius, give feedback on gas mileage drivers take note and drive more efficiently.
What do you think?