Paul Scott thinks there's a way to improve Southern California traffic without putting a dime into roadwork: Teach people to become "eco-drivers."
It will improve traffic flow and help people slice their gasoline bills, he said.
Scott is an electric-vehicle advocate with Plug In America, a Leaf salesman at Santa Monica Nissan and a self-described serious eco-driver. Among some of his more extreme techniques: drafting behind trucks to save gas or, if in an electric car, energy. Driving practices like those help Scott get 100-plus miles out of one battery charge in a Leaf, and even more out of the first version of Toyota Motor Corp.'s electric RAV4. That's 20% to 25% better than most drivers.
"The average driver in America is extremely inefficient in the way they drive," Scott said.
Here are some of his tips for getting the most out of the gas or electricity in your car.
•If a car has an eco-mode setting, use it. It forces drivers to accelerate more smoothly and saves energy.
•Always drive gently off the line; never accelerate hard from a stop.
•Anticipate stops. If you see a red light, stop sign or heavy traffic ahead of you, let off the accelerator and coast.