ECO-AWARE DRIVING - top ten tips
Eco-aware driving has been part of the Driving Instructors´ exam for some time. As you may be aware DVSA introduced it into the Driving Test in September 2008 and there will be increasing emphasis on it in the future. Don´t get caught out! Join a driving school that teaches up-to-the-minute techniques!
At Red Kite Driving School we teach a style of eco-aware driving which, when implemented successfully, will reduce emissions, minimise fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. Listed on this page are the main points which contribute in these three areas. Implement them all and, depending what type of vehicle you drive, you will immediately see cost savings of up to 20%.
1. Anticipate road conditions well ahead and drive smoothly. This enables you to completely avoid sharp acceleration and heavy braking, decreasing fuel consumption by up to 15%.
2. Where possible keep a constant speed between 45mph and 60mph. Because engines are at their most efficient in this range fuel consumption is decreased, and so are emissions.
3. Check your revs. Change gear before 2500rpm in a petrol car and before 2000rpm in a diesel.
4. Don´t leave the engine idling on a cold day just to warm it up. This uses unnecessary fuel and increases both emissions and the rate of engine wear.
5. Restarting the engine uses less energy than idling for 10 seconds, so if you are in a jam or a long queue turn the engine off.
6. Plan long journeys properly avoiding congestion and taking into account the road type. Remember a 110 mile trip cruising at optimum speeds is more efficient than a 100 mile trip on the back roads.
7. Walk or cycle for short journeys. It takes up to 6 miles for engines to warm up and a catalytic converter to work properly. In this time emissions can be up to 60% higher and fuel consumption almost doubles.
8. Keep your tyres correctly inflated. Under inflated tyres increase fuel consumption by up to 3% and emissions by up to 5% - and can be dangerous.
9. Keep use of air conditioning to a minimum, it significantly increases fuel consumption.
10. Don´t carry unnecessary weight in the vehicle, or leave roof racks, boxes or bike carriers on when not inuse.