More and more people are interested in Eco Driving. In the current economic climate fuel consumption is playing a bigger role in people’s driving habits. This enables a driver to:-
Reduce their fuel costs
Reduce their energy consumption
Reduce CO2 emmisions
Here we will look at some of the things you can do to make your driving more economic.
1) Try and identify any hazards on the road early. This will allow you adequate time to react to the hazard. By doing so you will be able to slow down earlier in anticipation of what is up ahead. This will also result in you being able to brake and accelerate in a smooth and progressive way.
2) Ensure that you are in the correct gear at the right time. Try not to stay in too low a gear unnecessarily. You should change gear as soon as conditions allow. Some cars will have an eco drive indicator for helping you know when to change gear. If you have this, pay attention to it.
3) Drive at a speed that is appropriate to the road, traffic and weather conditions. Ensure that you drive at an appropriate speed in built up areas. Erratic speeds will mean harsh breaking and acceleration and in turn will use more fuel. You should ensure that you know your speed limits for the road you are on. The faster you drive, the greater the fuel consumption. If you driving at 70mph on the road it uses up to 9% more fuel than it would if you were driving at 60mph and up to 15% more than it would if you were driving at 50mph. Surprisingly enough if you happened to drive at 80mph then you could be using anything up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.
4) Use the accelerator smoothly and progressively. When appropriate, you can take your foot off the accelerator and allow the momentum of your car to take you forward. You must avoid pumping the accelerator as this will use more fuel. If on motorways and you have cruise control, utilise this as it will help with our fuel consumption as your foot will not be on the accelerator.
5) Ensure that your tyres are inflated correctly. Refer to your car’s handbook for details. Failure to do so will mean that you could be driving on under inflated tyres. This will lead to poor road holding and could cause excessive drag and resistance and increase your fuel consumption. However, both over and under-inflated tyres can be dangerous to road holding, so it is extremely important that you ensure your tyres are inflated at there recommended pressure.
6)When stationary in traffic or waiting for someone, the engine is idling and thus you are wasting fuel and adding to CO2 emissions. If you are likely to be stopped for a while, simply switch off your engine. If your car has stop/start technology then you should ensure you use it rather than disable it.
7) Switch off your air conditioning . You should use this only when you need it. When you have air conditioning switched on it means your engine has to work harder in order to power the air conditioning unit. If you are driving at a low speed then an option is to open the window instead.
8) Use any electrical equipment in your car wisely and ensure that it is switched off if it is not required. This will save you fuel also.
9)Remove any unnecessary items from your load. If you are carrying any excess weight in a vehicle it will increase your fuel consumption.
10) Remove roof racks and roof boxes when they are not required. These add wind resistance and therefore increase your fuel consumption. If you do need to use a roof rack or roof box ensure that you pack your load carefully to reduce any drag.
So the next time you are planning to drive your car, think carefully about all of these factors and see how much fuel you can save and do your bit to save the environment. Drive carefully and responsibly.