Drive smarter, save money |

Drive smarter, save money

Vail Daily Editorial Board

While we wait for our leaders in Washington to actually do something meaningful about this country’s dependence on increasingly expensive oil, there’s actually a lot we can do for ourselves.

Colorado recently joined California in adopting and promoting a new EcoDriving program, which really is just a list of common-sense tips on how to improve your car’s fuel economy.

Things like keeping your car tuned up, your tires property inflated and to be more judicious about when to use the air conditioner won’t make fuel prices cheaper or oil companies profits shrink. But it will help you stretch that $70 tank of gas a little farther. And perhaps more importantly, it’s one way consumers can control how much fuel prices affect their monthly budgets.

The EcoDriving program suggests drivers avoid rapid starts and stops, maintain constant speed in traffic and use cruise control. In addition to keeping your car in top shape, drivers should avoid idling and remove unneeded items from their vehicles. Experts say low tires can reduce your gas mileage by 3 percent, and a dirty air filter can reduce it as much as 10 percent. For a list of Colorado car dealerships that are providing “green checkups,” log onto

Companies with fleets can realize a lot of savings if they encourage employees to drive smarter, and they can reward those who can show decreased fuel costs.

Another way Vail employees and employers can save money on commuting is by participating in vanpooling. The town of Vail is holding a meeting Aug. 28. Basically, vanpooling allows a group of people to commute together on a regular basis in a provided commuter van. The meetings in Vail are from 8:30 to 9 a.m. for business managers, owners and employees, and from 10 to 10:30 a.m. for construction contractors and other large employers. Both meetings will be in the Vail Town Council Chambers.

Don’t live in Vail? The Vail Daily Web site has a carpool blog for those looking for ride-share partners. Go to, click on “blogs” and the “Let’s Carpool Eagle County!” link.

We applaud any effort local residents and employers make to driving in Eagle County a little more affordable.

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