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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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City experiment yields big benefits


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?


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