Today was a brutal day for traffic. A flipped over truck on the 401 (our major highway) caused traffic in both directions and on pretty much every local street within a 10km radius to grind to a halt. Joe was stuck in it for an hour and a half when it normally would only take him 15 minutes. Stop and go traffic can significantly increase vehicle emissions vs a steady speed (even if driving slow). Add sitting idle on the road to the equation and you are looking at a significant increase in CO2 emissions over the usual emissions for that time.
There has to be some way to prevent this or at least reduce the worst case emissions scenario. Here are some ideas that can help:
* Listen to the radio or check online to check out your route prior to leaving. If you hear of an accident then find an alternative route. Google, Beat the Traffic or other Apps are great at showing real time traffic patterns based on speed. Look for the route with traffic moving at a steady speed.
* Get a hybrid when you buy your next car. At lower speeds your car will run on electricity. When you are idling your engine will shut off and not start again until you start to move again.
* Take public transit. Now if there is an accident you may not be able to avoid sitting in traffic but the more people who take public transit the less cars there will be on the road leading to less congestion over all. Bonus points if you can take a train or subway and get off the road completely.
* When you do start moving accelerate slowly. Don't step on the gas and then break hard when you need to stop.
* Put your car in neutral when you are stuck sitting on the road and not moving. If it is a major traffic jam and you are not moving at all for long periods of time just turn your car right off.
Got any other tips to share on how we can reduce our CO2 emissions while driving/sitting/crawling in traffic jams?
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