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Travel Tips for Maintaining Good Air Quality on the Road This Summer

As summer rolls around and the 4th of July festivities begin, many of us are eagerly gearing up for road trips. While the thrill of hitting the open road is undeniable, it’s important to consider the impact our travels have on air quality, both within our vehicles and on the environment. Here are some tips to help you maintain good air quality on the road this summer, ensuring a fun and environmentally responsible trip.

Pre-Trip Vehicle Maintenance. Before setting off on your journey, ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Some key maintenance tips to follow involve checking the air filter, checking the exhaust system, inspecting the tires, and getting regular oil changes. Doing these things helps improve the vehicle's performance, engine, and fuel efficiency, and reduces emissions.

Consider Eco-Friendly Vehicles. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions while being driven and hybrid electric vehicles are more fuel-efficient than gasoline-powered cars. If you have access to one of these vehicles, this summer is the perfect time to take advantage of their eco-friendly benefits. An additional option to consider is renting an eco-friendly vehicle instead of a conventional gasoline car. Check out Electric Vehicles North Texas to learn more.

Plan Routes Wisely. Before taking off, it’s important to plan strategically in order to reduce idling, travel time, and emissions. This can be done by avoiding traffic jams, carpooling, optimizing your routes, and planning rest stops in areas with good air quality. For longer trips, try traveling during off-peak hours to avoid heavy traffic.

Pack Smartly. Travel as light as possible to avoid overloading your vehicle. With extra weight, the engine works harder and burns more fuel.

Stay Clean Inside the Car. Maintaining good air quality inside your vehicle is important as well. Switch to recirculation mode when driving through areas with poor air quality, to minimize intake of polluted air. Regularly vacuuming and cleaning surfaces in the vehicle will reduce dust and allergens. Consider investing in a portable air purifier designed for vehicles to improve the cabin's air quality.

Report on Smoking Vehicles. While on the road, keep an eye out for any smoking vehicles. Exhaust from smoking vehicles emits pollutants that negatively affect the air quality. Gather the vehicle’s license plate number, the city, cross streets, date, and time that the vehicle was spotted. The North Central Texas Council of Governments uses this information to send a letter to the vehicle's registered owner. The letter explains that the vehicle was anonymously reported and provides information highlighting possible causes of their vehicle smoke. The registered owner will not receive a ticket but rather is informed and encouraged to have their vehicle checked out and repaired. Report smoking vehicles here.

Celebrate Responsibly on the 4th of July. If your summer plans include celebrating Independence Day, be mindful of air quality by attending public firework displays rather than setting off your own and cleaning up after the celebrations to prevent additional pollution.

By following these tips, you can enjoy memorable summer road trips while contributing to cleaner air for everyone. As everyone starts hitting the road, not only will you benefit from improved health and a better travel experience, but you’ll also be playing a part in protecting the environment for future generations. So, pack your bags, plan your routes, and hit the road with a commitment to maintaining good air quality this summer. Safe travels!


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