Idling is when a driver leaves the engine running and the vehicle parked. Everyday in the U.S. millions of cars and trucks idle needlessly, sometimes for hours.

Idling and our health

Idling tailpipes release the same pollutants as those from moving cars. Nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds are the main health-harming pollutants in vehicle emissions.

Breathing exhaust fumes increase the risk of serious illnesses including:

  • cancer
  • heart and lung disease
  • asthma
  • severe allergies, especially in children

Did you know?

  • Thirty seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting
  • Depending on engine size, one hour of idling can burn up to a gallon of fuel
  • Idling for 10 minutes uses as much fuel as traveling five miles
  • Idling = 0 miles per gallon. An idling vehicle is the most inefficient vehicle on the road

It’s the law

New Hampshire regulations help to minimize the health and environmental impacts of idling by establishing a limit on the amount of time that engines are permitted to idle. If the outside temperature is above 32 ° F, maximum idling time is 5 minutes. If the outside temperature is between –10°F and 32°F, maximum idling time is 15 minutes. Below –10°F there is no limit.

Steps you can take to improve our air

  • Turn off your engine if you are waiting more than 10 seconds
  • Warm up your engine by driving it, not by idling
  • Establish a “No Idling” policy at your child’s school
  • Don’t use a remote starter or limit use to cold months
  • Spread the word! Pledge to be idle-free 

Being Idle-Free Saves $ and improves air quality and the health of generations to come

Turn the Key, Be Idle-Free!

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