We all like to think we drive well (myself included), but how much of an economical driver are we really? Furthermore, could you confidently answer what an economical driver actually is?!
Tell me, what would your answer be if someone asked if you’re an efficient driver? In fact, what would your answer be if someone asked you what efficient driving is?
These are questions we’ve been discussing in the Redtail office recently.
Lucky for us, Redtail devices and data enable us to scrutinise driving behaviours and vehicle performance in some detail. This, in turn, helps us offer a unique view on driving in an efficient and economic manner.
So, we decided to put together a list of tips and tricks we thought you’d find useful. Maybe you could consider some of these the next time you go for a drive. Go on, give it a go!
- Check your tyres
- Underinflated tyres wear out faster and lose energy
- Maintain a consistent speed
- If you have cruise control and you’re driving along a motorway – consider turning it on. If you’re driving along other roads, try to maintain as consistent a speed as you can. Slowing down and speeding up all the time is inefficient
- Try to reduce the need for unnecessary acceleration and braking
- If you accelerate quickly but smoothly, acceleration itself isn’t inefficient. However, if you accelerate to a higher speed than the roads allow and have to brake, you’ll unnecessarily need to accelerate again… and if your speed gets too high again you’ll need to brake again and the cycle continues
- Try to reach a speed that suits the road you are on and maintain it so you aren’t accelerating and braking more than needed. It can use a lot of fuel and be a potential hazard
- In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration
A recent UK government Impact Study on Intelligent Mobility offers compelling data on the impact of ‘eco driving’. The findings indicated a 5-15% reduction in emissions; a factor that improves fuel economy too!
More tips and tricks:
- Change gears at an appropriate time
- Don’t stick in a low gear for too long as high revs can reduce fuel efficiency
- Anticipate traffic and the road ahead
- If you see a queue ahead or traffic lights changing colour, try to slow gradually as you reach them not suddenly once you’re there
- Slow deceleration (trying to avoid using the brake to stop suddenly or harshly) is much more economical and will reduce wear and tear on your brakes. So, it helps save on fuel and maintenance costs!
- Avoid idling
- It wastes fuel and gets you nowhere
- Make sure you service your vehicle as often as the manufacturer advises
- Vehicles with a less than optimal engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produce up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly