Malcolm Flynn | Jun 7, 2012

A study by insurer AAMI has found that the driving habits of females over 50 are the gentlest on the environment, whilst, predictably, younger drivers occupy the opposite end of the spectrum.

The insurer surveyed over 3000 Australian drivers and ranked the demographics based on gender and age group.

Each demographic has been assigned the ‘AAMI Green Score for Australian drivers’. Female drivers in the highest age bracket achieved the study's best score of 4.5 out of a possible 10 - still leaving plenty of room for improvement.

It was female drivers aged between 25-49 who ranked the worst of all, with the insurer citing a reluctance to carpool or to use public transport, as key environmental sins.

Other behaviours reviewed in the study include:

  • Only using the car when there are no other travel alternatives
  • Carpooling wherever possible
  • Driving smoothly without hard braking or acceleration
  • Avoiding high speeds, or driving in a gear lower or higher than needed
  • Regularly checking that tyres are inflated
  • Using the air-conditioner sparingly
  • Removing unnecessary weight from the car
  • How often drivers service their car

Overall, the study found that male and female motorists over 50 generally have a lower environment impact than younger drivers.

The results showed that 18 to 24 year-olds have the greatest impact, with this group less likely to service their car or maintain healthy tyres, affecting fuel efficiency.

“Car manufacturers have progressed by leaps and bounds when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of a car. But technology can only take us so far, drivers must take advantage of these improvements to get the greatest benefit.

"There are some simple techniques which people can implement that have an immediate impact on your footprint without costing a cent”, Greenfleet CEO Sara Gipton said.

Greenfleet Director David Lamb added that “driving smoothly can save as much as 25% of our fuel bills.”