Overweight Drivers: Lose Weight and Save Fuel

Would you like to improve your car’s fuel consumption at no cost? Then lose weight.

A new survey by Halfords has found that dirty cars can carry around as much as 5kg of mud and dirt in the winter. According to Halfords, this means that UK motorists are spending up to £95 million a year extra in fuel as a result of carrying around all that extra weight. Driving dirt-laden cars isn’t doing the environment any good, either – Halfords says that all of this extra fuel use equates to 170,000 tonnes of CO2 – or the total annual CO2 emissions from a town with a population of 11,000.

According to Halfords Car Cleaning Expert David Howells, “There is a small benefit in the aerodynamics of a clean body, but the biggest gain is from the less weight you are hauling around.”

Drivers Can Save Fuel By Losing Weight Themselves

It seems to me that Halfords ‘lose weight’ concept can be applied to people, too.

Drivers are often advised to remove unnecessary stuff from the boots of their cars to remove weight and improve fuel consumption, but what about removing unnecessary weight from themselves? Overweight drivers are clearly contributing more than their fair share of CO2 emissions, thanks to the excess weight their cars have to lug around.

More than half the men and women in the UK are overweight or obese. If every overweight driver in the UK lost a stone (6.4kg), imagine how emissions would go down. We could probably cancel out all the emissions caused by dirty cars in one fell swoop!

In addition, all these newly-slim people could enjoy improved health, longer life expectancy and walk further than they used to – which would decrease emissions and fuel consumption even more*!

Obviously this article is intended to be mildly humorous and is not an attack on the environmental credentials of overweight and obese people. However, maintaining a healthy weight is important and is likely to have a positive effect on your life (and your car’s emissions).

If you’d like to start losing weight, I’d recommend starting with the NHS Lose Weight website, which has loads of useful  information about healthy food and tips for exercise. Whatever you do, don’t be suckered into some fad diet that claims to perform miracles. It probably won’t work, or else it will be bad for your long-term health.

*Fuel consumption and emissions are always at their worst when a car’s engine is cold – avoid short runs where possible.

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