Texans love to roll the windows down and hit the road for a breath of fresh air during the summer, but on Monday the Air Quality Index in Cleburne was 58 — or moderate.
In this range, air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. This includes children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with lung disease, such as asthma.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, emissions from cars and trucks can make up close to half of the air pollution in some parts of the state. An average car produces 20 pounds of emissions per gallon, or 13,601 pounds each year.
The Texas Department of Transportation’s “Drive Clean Texas” campaign asks all drivers to do their part to make sure every breath is clean and healthy all summer long.
“As Texans hit the road this summer, ‘Drive Clean Texas’ is asking everyone to help reduce vehicle air pollution,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin said. “Making simple adjustments to the way we drive and maintain our vehicles can help us all get where we need to go and reduce air pollution along the way. It’s a win-win for our families and our wallets.”
The way you drive and maintain your car or truck affects your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and how much you spend on gas.
Austin said making little changes when it comes to driving can help protect the state’s air quality:
• Keep vehicles well-maintained and inflate tires to recommended air pressure levels.
• Fuel when it’s cool — either late afternoon or evening.
• Stop at the click when fueling your vehicle. Overfilling releases harmful fumes.
• Drive smart by obeying speed limits.
• Avoid idling the vehicle for extended periods of time.
• Avoid aggressive driving with rapid starts and stops.
• Remove excess cargo.