Trucks at Work

Even four wheelers keep looking for fuel savings

Tire maker Bridgestone Americas Inc. – the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Bridgestone Corp. – recently unveiled the results of an online poll of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll this March that found 94% of Americans are “looking for a way to stretch their dollars,” with 74% of those who own and operate vehicles saying they’ve made maintenance and operating behavior changes over the last 12 months to try and boost their fuel mileage.

[To be precise, Harris Poll surveyed 2,009 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,838 are drivers and 1,761 are drivers who own a vehicle.]

Think about that for a minute: a big majority of U.S. light vehicle drivers are seeking ways to improve fuel economy and thus cut fuel expenditures – all during one of the biggest declines in U.S. diesel and gasoline prices in recent memory.

That tells you something, I think, about how today’s four wheelers understand the connection between fuel economy and their bottom lines of their household budgets.

And if they are focusing to such a high degree on line items like fuel expenses now, in the midst of some of the cheapest prices for fuel we’ve seen in nearly a decade and a half, I’ll bet that focus will become even sharper when prices inevitably start going back up again.

Bridgestone’s survey noted that American drivers who own vehicles engage in three main methods to save fuel:

  • Half of them (50%) combine errands;
  • About 40% say they maintain their tires by checking air pressure and tire tread;
  • More than a third of consumers (38%) avoid sudden acceleration and stopping.

"Americans continue to look for ways to achieve better fuel efficiency because that translates to more money in their pockets," noted Robert Saul, senior product manager for Bridgestone Americas, in a statement.

Of course, Bridgestone is using this data as part of effort to draw attention to its Ecopia EP422 Plus tire, which Saul said is engineered with a combination of light and strong materials for greater fuel efficiency, giving consumers an extra 20 miles per tank.

“The Ecopia EP422 Plus tire from Bridgestone is designed to make cars more fuel-efficient, while still providing dependable all-season performance,” he added, noting that its fuel savings help contribute to the company's global goal of reducing tire rolling resistance some 25% by 2020.

Just goes that fuel savings remains a hot topic among all vehicle owners and operators, not just those rolling the big rigs up and down our roadways.

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