Who’s on the Right Side of the Road Now?
Brits change habits to save gasoline; Americans don’t
Starting in 2008, new drivers in Britain will be tested not only on the anxiety-producing three-point turn, but also on their ability to drive in a manner that conserves gasoline. The country hopes to produce a new generation of eco-aware motorists who accelerate and brake smoothly and change gears early to save fuel. Other countries have instituted similar initiatives, like the Netherlands, which estimates that savvy drivers can cut fuel use by nearly a third. It’s almost like they take their effect on the environment seriously. Meanwhile, in the U.S., whining about gas prices is still on the rise, but so is demand for gas, as most Americans are still financially able to handle prices at the pump. Economists suggest gas prices would have to be high for several years for people to adjust their gas-guzzling habits — especially without a drivers’ ed teacher nagging them from the passenger seat.