Driving Tips for Fuel Conservation

Does the price of fuel have you over a barrel? You might not be able to reduce the price at the pump, but you aren’t powerless when it comes to conserving fuel at home and at work. We know how important transportation is to our lives and the economy. And that it’s vital to the Postal Service™.

In your daily travels, if you focus on two small things — driving efficiently and properly maintaining your vehicle — you can reduce fuel consumption. And reducing fuel consumption:

n Saves you money by increasing your miles per gallon, enabling you to travel further per gallon of gas.

n Saves the environment by reducing harmful emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

You have the power to decide now to take control of your driving habits and your vehicle. All you need to do is commit to implementing some easy fuel reduction strategies, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, cleaner, and less costly commute.

Did You Know…?

n On average, a personal vehicle is driven 12,500 miles per year and consumes 581 gallons of fuel in that time.

n By comparison, the Postal Service vehicle fleet is driven about 4.3 million miles per day, which amounts to 1.3 billion miles per year.

n The Postal Service has one of the largest civilian fleets, with 213,881 vehicles that consumed the equivalent of 152.3 million gallons of fuel in 2011.

n Using one gallon of gasoline to fuel your car or truck produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide; a typical heavy duty truck can burn approximately one gallon of fuel per hour.

What Does This Mean to the Postal Service?

Fuel used for transportation is a major expense for the Postal Service. Use of petroleum fuel by Postal Service vehicles increased by 8.3 percent from FY 2005 to FY 2011, mainly due to growth in new city and rural delivery points. Our goal is to reduce petroleum use by 20 percent by 2015 from a 2005 baseline.

What You Can Do

Consider carpooling, using public transportation, or riding your bike when it makes sense. Also consider implementing some of the recommendations provided by the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website. Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.49 a gallon (see

n Drive Sensibly. Aggressive driving (like speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money. You might save a life!

n Fuel Economy Benefit: 5–33 percent.

n Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.17–$1.15/gallon.

n Observe the Speed Limit. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer.

n Fuel Economy Benefit: 7–14 percent.

n Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.24–$0.49/gallon.

n Use Cruise Control and Overdrive Gears. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. Also when you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

n Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned. Getting a tune-up can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, although results vary based on the repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

n Fuel Economy Benefit: 4 percent.

n Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.14/gallon.

n Keep Tires Properly Inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every pound per square inch (psi) drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb, the glove box, or the owner’s manual. Don’t use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.

n Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 3 percent.

n Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.10/gallon.

n Don’t Idle. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle. Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear.

n Fuel Economy Benefit: An idling vehicle gets zero miles per gallon!

Additional information

For more tips on how you can reduce fuel consumption see:

n The Environmental Protection Agency’s websites at and

n The Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website at

n The Postal Service Sustainability website at and