Can we who compete for a lane change on a freeway learn about improving fuel economy from a desert rally that takes place in the wastelands of Morocco?
Yes, we can, says Amy Lerner of Alpine, New Jersey, who has competed twice in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, which bills itself as the toughest of all sporting events for women. Lerner's authority comes from experience, since she and driving partner (and sister) Tricia Reina won the rally's 2012 Logica Challenge for Eco-driving.
"Eco-driving" is a term that describes the energy-efficient use of vehicles. Many carmakers are embracing the idea and providing drivers with tools to measure their driving efficiency, such as Fiat's Eco:Drive app. The goal is to achieve better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Though vehicle engineering has made great strides in raising fuel economy, drivers can — and do — sabotage fuel economy with bad driving habits and improper vehicle maintenance.