Despite all the negative assumptions about car drivers, a new study conducted by researchers at ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network has revealed that people who own a car are more environmentally aware than they credit for.
The study showed that on average, most drivers have environmentally friendly driving habits and attitudes and that they understand how to lower their environmental impact.
When asked about their driving habits, more than half (54%) of motorists demonstrated a solid commitment to lowering their environmental impact. 71% of drivers said they avoid making journeys of less than a mile. 72% said they carpool or liftshare when possible and 20% said they would consider leaving their car at home if possible.
When asked about the environmental impact of driving, motorists in the study showed an impressive degree of understanding too. Almost two thirds (61%) disagreed with some of the most commonly believed myths about cars and the environment. For example, 68% understood that vehicle excise duty is based on emissions and that electric cars are normally exempt. 85% correctly identified that tyre pressure had a large impact on a car’s emissions and 86% agreed that idling wastes fuel, is harmful to the environment and that switching off and restarting the engine is typically less harmful.
William Fletcher, managing director of scrapcarnetwork.org, who commissioned the research says:
“Despite what many people assume, motorists are environmentally conscious and many drive because they have to, in-spite of their concerns for the environment, not due to ignorance. This research shows that the majority of motorists understand how to lower the environmental impact of driving and are committed to doing it.”
“While discouraging people from making unnecessary journeys and reducing the impact cars have on the environment is an important part of the overall picture, motorists would also benefit from more support with alternate options to driving too, especially those poorly served by public transport.”