Why Idling Your Car Is bad For The Environment

Have you ever waited outside a store, or school with your car running for more than five minutes? If so, then you have violated a Massachusetts State Law.

Massachusetts law states that, “No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped for a foreseeable period of time in excess of five minutes.” This of course, doesn’t involve vehicles that need to be run in order to operate correctly, like ambulances, fire trucks, etc. One of the many reasons why this law is important to follow, besides the possibility of being fined $25,000, is that it pollutes the air that we breath daily.

If the air we breathe is toxic, it can be very unhealthy for us and lead to acceleration of aging lungs, loss of lung capacity, decreased lung function, development of diseases like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer. The ultimate effect of air pollution to humans is a decrease in average lifespan due to these diseases.

Some people may argue that restarting your car is hard on the engine and it drains the battery. I hate to break it to you , but you’re argument is insufficient. According to the Hinkle Charitable Foundation (HCF), a foundation advocating for environmental education, when you restart your engine, there is insignificant damage, and with the modern cars that we have today, the batteries are also harmed insignificantly. The effect of idling is the exact opposite, because when you idle your engine, it forces it to operate insufficiently, which causes the engine overtime to degrade its performance, and reduce its mileage.

Another way people may argue this, is that cars should run a few minutes before they can be driven. This also has been found to be untrue by the HCF. With the modern cars and engines we have now, they don’t need more than a few seconds of waiting before they can be driven by people safely. The best way to warm up your car is by driving it, and this warms up the catalytic converter and other mechanical parts of the car, in addition to the engine.

In conclusion, if you care about your health and the fate of the world, it’s recommended you look at the facts and make the decision that not only benefits you, but the future as well.

 

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