Transport – Are You a Smarter Driver?

29th October 2010

Energy Saving Week – Day 5 – Transport

We are all aware that driving causes carbon dioxide emissions, but sometimes there are no alternative methods of transport to use. By making some simple changes to your driving style, you can take control, reduce the fuel you use and also save money.

Smarter driving involves using your gears, acceleration and anticipation to adopt a more fuel-efficient driving style. As well as reducing your fuel consumption it is also a safer style of driving.

The benefits of smarter driving:

  • Reduce your annual fuel bills
  • Cut your carbon emissions
  • Reduce wear and tear on the vehicle
  • Enjoy, less stressful journeys

Our top smarter driving tips:

Whilst Driving

  • Drive Off From Cold – modern cars are designed to move straight away, so by allowing the engine to warm up you are just wasting fuel.
  • Check your Revs – change up before 2,500 rpm if you have a petrol car or 2,000 rpm if you have a diesel car.
  • Drive Smoothly – anticipate the road conditions so that you are able to drive smoothly and avoid sharp acceleration and heavy breaking, this saves your fuel and could reduce accident rates.
  • Step Off The Accelerator – when slowing down or driving downhill, remain in gear but take your foot off the accelerator early. This reduces fuel flow to the engine to virtually zero.
  • Slow Down – driving within the speed limit is safer as well as being the law, and reduces fuel consumption.
  • Stuck in Traffic

  • Switch It Off – modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they are re-started without pressing the accelerator. Turn off the engine if you’re going to be stationary for more than a minute or two.
  • Smart Preparation

  • Plan Ahead – plan your journeys so that you avoid congestion and road works, this helps make sure you don’t waste fuel or time getting lost!
  • Keep It Long – use other forms of transport for short journeys, if you can walk or cycle. A cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take five miles to become effective.
  • Reduce Drag – remove unused roof racks, bike carriers etc as these significantly affect the cars aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Check Tyre Pressure – under inflated tyres are dangerous and increase fuel consumption, so check them.
  • Where possible we should all try to use other modes of transport, for short journeys we should walk or cycle as these are the most environmentally friendly and sustainable forms of transport. For longer journeys we should look at the option of public transport or car sharing.

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