Transporting some 70% of the nation’s freight, commercial drivers play a crucial role in the American economy. Drivers also have an important role to play in the transportation industry’s drive to become more sustainable.  

A driver’s behind-the-wheel behavior has a huge impact on fuel usage and overall vehicle efficiency – which, in turn, affects sustainability (not to mention the bottom line). 

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that there is a 35% difference in fuel economy between the most and least efficient drivers and that many fleets use (or plan to use) “eco-driving” training to reduce fuel use and lower emissions. 

 Here’s how drivers can help make fleets more sustainable. 


Reduce Speeding and Other Bad Driving Habits 

“The first step in reducing fuel consumption,” according to Fleet Owner, “is reducing speed.” Case in point: A truck barreling down the highway at 75 mph burns 27% more fuel than a truck cruising along at 65 mph. 

Furthermore, research shows that aggressive driving – things like harsh acceleration, braking and cornering – can lower fuel economy by as much as 33% on the open road and 5% in the city. 

Taken together, speeding and aggressive driving can really do a number on your fuel budget, maintenance costs and carbon emissions. 

Fleet management technology, such as electronic logging devices and event-triggered dashcams provide the data you need to identify problem driving behaviors and coach drivers appropriately. 


Curb the Idling 

Idling is another major fuel waster. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a single long-haul truck burns about 1,500 gallons of diesel per year due to idling alone. That adds up to a lot of harmful emissions and thousands of wasted dollars per year. 

Educating drivers about the adverse effects of unnecessary idling is a first step toward reducing it, and ATRI suggests possible financial incentives to drivers who reduce their idling. Also, fleet technology that enables you to track idle time by location, date, time and duration can provide the data you need to curb excessive idling, lowering your costs and reducing your carbon footprint. 


Maintain Proper Tire Pressure 

Underinflated tires can decrease fuel efficiency by 2% to 4%, Heavy Duty Trucking reports. Also, wear and tear from improperly inflated tires reduces overall tire life. In addition to having drivers check tire pressure before trips, the use of technology can help ensure that proper tire pressure is maintained.  

EROAD’s StealthNet trailer tracker, for example, is compatible with a variety of sensors that provide real-time data on trailer health, including tire pressure and temperature. This information lets carriers quickly identify and address underinflated tires, helping to extend tire life, improve fuel economy and avoid potentially catastrophic blowouts on the road. 


Optimize Routes for Efficiency 

Working closely with dispatchers and using truck-centric route optimization technology, drivers can plan the most efficient routes. By minimizing mileage and avoiding traffic congestion, drivers can significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Additionally, optimized routes lead to quicker deliveries, improving overall operational efficiency. 

Click here to learn how EROAD can help you build a more sustainable fleet through improved fuel economy, better route planning and more.  

How Driver Behavior Can Make (or Break) Your Sustainability Efforts

by | Jul 17, 2023 |

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