A study has found that women over the age of 50 have the most environmentally friendly driving habits, while younger drivers have some improving to do.
The study by AAMI insurance surveyed a cross section of more than 3,000 Australian drivers and ranked the environmental impact of their driving behaviours with a "green score". Behavioural factors taken into account included whether the drivers carpooled, if they drove smoothly, if they checked their tyres and how often they used their car's air conditioning.
Women over 50 had the highest scores with a 4.5 out of 10 green score — so there's still room for everyone to improve. These drivers were found to be more likely to regularly service their cars — a major factor in reducing a vehicle's environmental impact.
Females aged 25–49 were found to have the greatest impact on the environment as they are least likely to carpool or use public transport.
Taking only age into account shows that the 18–24 group has the greatest environmental impact as they are the least likely to service their cars regularly and often run on sub-standard tyres, factors that can dramatically increase fuel consumption.
NSW and Tasmania were found to be the greenest states — each achieving a green score of 4.2 — while Victoria, ACT and the Northern Territory all scored lowest with 3.9.
The study was conducted as part of World Environment Day which took place last week.
"World Environment Day is the perfect opportunity for Australian drivers to take a look at the way they use their cars and the environmental consequences of the way they drive," said AAMI's Corporate Affairs Manager, Reuben Aitchison.
"AAMI's research shows that a majority of Australians are environmentally aware and are taking steps to limit their impact on the environment, but clearly some are doing more than others."