Eco-Safe Driving – Tips to reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions
We all know that driving cause’s pollution in the atmosphere, but in reality for most of us driving is an essential part of modern life. However by adopting a few simple driving techniques, we can not only minimise the damage to the environment, but we can also save money by reducing our fuel bills. With petrol costs as high as ever, now is the time to consider eco-safe driving.
So what can we do?
Develop better hazard perception skills
- Forward planning – By looking further ahead and anticipating potential hazards early, allows you to deal with situations early and thus minimising the need for late braking.
- Always keep to the 2-second rule and longer in poor weather conditions – giving you more time to react to potential hazards.
Minimise harsh or rapid acceleration
- Avoid unnecessary acceleration, and never accelerate into a hazard. For example, when entering a new road with parked cars, ask yourself will I need to stop?
- When it is safe, smoothly accelerate without over revving the engine
- When going downhill, consider easing off the accelerator and let gravity do the work.
Minimise harsh braking
- Always look well ahead and see if you need to reduce speed, and if so try to do this early by easing off the accelerator
- When driving on roads with parked cars, try to plan your speed and time it so you can potentially keep moving rather than stopping.
- Engage higher gears as early as possible
- Engage lower gears as late as possible without risking stalling the engine
- Consider ‘skipping’ gears when speeding up or slowing down. i.e. 2nd to 4th
Don’t leave the engine running unnecessarily
- If you are stationary for more than a few minutes consider switching off the engine.
- If possible avoid manoeuvring your vehicle when the engine is cold, so when parking in a car park, consider reversing into the space so you can easily drive out.
So by adopting a few simple eco-safe driving strategies, not only will you save on fuel consumption, you will also save on unnecessary wear and tear of your engine. It will also make you a far safer driver, something which I as a driving instructor am extremely passionate about.