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3 ways to conserve fuel during your daily commute

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Commuting is a part of daily life for many working professionals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey, the average American spends 25 minutes commuting to work each day. However, Citi's 2015 ThankYou Premier Commuter Index says the average commute time in the United States is 45 minutes. The reasons for that disparity are unknown, though if one accepts the latter statistic as more accurate than the years-old Census Bureau data, it's fair to say Americans spend far more time getting to work than their neighbors to the north. But commutes in Canada also can be lengthy, as Canada's National Household Survey found that, in 2011, commuters in Canada spent an average of roughly 25 minutes traveling to work each day.
 
While many people enjoy their daily commutes, feeling it's a time to prepare for the day ahead and, if using public transportation, to relax and let someone else do the work, it's fair to say the majority of commuters would like to spend less time getting to and from work. Many would also like to spend less money getting to and from their offices, and finding ways to conserve fuel is an effective way to do just that.
 
1. Maintain your vehicle.
 
Poorly maintained vehicles endure undue stress that can be prevented by adhering to routine maintenance schedules. Peruse your vehicle's owner's manuals to determine the recommended intervals to change the oil and replace the air filter and spark plugs. These simple maintenance tasks are easy and inexpensive, but they make it easier for engines to run smoothly and make efficient use of fuel.
 
2. Keep tires properly inflated.
 
Properly inflated tires reduce drag on the engine. Engine drag makes the vehicle work hard to move, and that wastes fuel. But the type of tires a vehicle has also can affect how efficiently it uses fuel. According to the Transportation Research Board, tires that reduce rolling resistance by 10 percent can improve gas mileage by as much as 2 percent. While that figure might seem insignificant, that 2 percent savings can add up to a substantial amount of money for commuters who spend 50 minutes every day getting to and from work.
 
3. Drive a vehicle with stop/start technology.
 
Stop/start systems, in which engines shut off automatically when drivers brake and restart automatically when the driver lifts his or her foot off the brake pedal, can make more efficient use of fuel. Once exclusive to hybrid cars, stop/start technology is now more widely available and can cut back on fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. That's especially attractive to eco-conscious commuters who live in big cities where stop-and-start traffic is unavoidable. What's more, many modern air conditioning compressors operate off electricity and not via a car's engine, meaning vehicles with stop/start technology will stay cool in the summer even when the engine shuts off.
 
Commuting to and from work may not seem like the most eco-friendly daily ritual. But there are ways to commute and conserve fuel at the same time.