Anyone can benefit by using eco-driving techniques, even long-haul truckers, who can reduce their rig's fuel consumption substantially with a lighter touch. That's the conclusion of SmartDrive Systems' new Commercial Transportation Fuel Efficiency Study.

Commercial fleets can cut fuel consumption by 22 percent, saving up to $12,500 per vehicle per year, by engaging in fuel-efficient, eco-driving practices. SmartDrive's study evaluated 695 tractor-trailers and heavy-duty trucks in multiple locations throughout the U.S. and assessed the effects of eco-driving on overall fuel consumption.

During the test, in-vehicle feedback systems provided drivers with immediate feedback so that they could adjust their techniques to reduce fuel consumption. The study concluded that by employing simple eco-driving techniques – things like gentler application of the accelerator pedal and idling less – average fuel economy of the rigs jumped from 5.92 miles per gallon to 7.98 mpg (this is the aforementioned 22-percent improvement). And, as we all should know by now, increasing mpgs on the low side matters a lot more than a boost up top.

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