Survey Says Washington Drivers Go Slow to Save

August 19, 2011

A recent poll from Northwest insurer PEMCO Insurance reveals that while a majority of drivers say they take steps to reduce the amount of gas they use, about eight out of 10 drivers in Washington and the greater Portland area say their fuel-efficiency practices are motivated by saving money, not the environment.

According to the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, a survey of drivers across Washington and around the Portland metro area shows that about nine out of 10 put at least some effort into being fuel efficient, but just a fraction do so to reduce the amount of pollutants produced by their vehicle.

In Washington, 86 percent of drivers who consciously save fuel say they do so because they want to save money that they would normally spend filling up their gas tank.

“We were surprised to learn that even in the Pacific Northwest, where we have a reputation for being environmentally conscientious, cost still trumps being green,” said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg. “And with gas prices at record highs in some areas, drivers are certainly feeling the pinch.”

Today, a gallon of gas costs an average of $3.77 in Washington, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, which is more than the national average of $3.59 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

To save on fuel, eight out of 10 drivers in Washington and Portland say they drive at a steady pace and avoid aggressive maneuvers on the road. About 60 percent proactively monitor their tires to make sure they have the right amount of air pressure, and about 40 percent make sure they’re not hauling excess cargo.

An additional 40 percent of Washington drivers say they avoid using their air conditioner to increase fuel efficiency.

The survey was conducted by an independent firm commissioned by PEMCO and had 1,200 respondents.

Source: PEMCO Insurance.

Topics Trends Washington Personal Auto

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