Eco driving tips for the holidays

On 14 June 2011, in News, Project news, by Andrew Bennett

Eco driving saves fuel, money, and the environment.

With the holidays around the corner you just might find yourself behind the wheel more often than usual, while fetching and carrying or road tripping to your destination. This will be a great time to start practicing your eco-driving skills, which in turn will reduce your fuel consumption, reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle and reduce your carbon footprint and other harmful vehicle emissions. Adopt the tips below. They can be fun and rewarding.

  • Keep your car well serviced and check the fluid level regularly. Correctly maintained cars can operate more efficiently and help reduce CO2 emissions.
  • Check your tyre pressure every month. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 40 %.
  • Remove unnecessary weight from your boot or back seats. The heavier the car, the harder the engine has to work and the more fuel it consumes so lighten your load by carrying only what you need.
  • Close your windows especially at higher speeds, and remove empty roof racks. This will reduce wind resistance and can lower your fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 %.
  • Use air conditioning only when really necessary. Due to the extra load on the engine, air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by 25 %.
  • Reduce idling. If you are going to be parked for more than 60 seconds, except while in traffic, turn your engine off. This has minimal impact on the starter system, and idling for more than 10 seconds already uses more fuel than it takes to restart your car.
  • Avoid speeding, and drive smoothly. Decreasing your speed from 120 km/h to 100km/h uses 20 % less fuel. Aggressive driving (speeding, quick acceleration and hard stops) can increase fuel consumption by 25 %. Driving smoother is safer and more fuel efficient.
  • When accelerating change up gears early as possible. Higher gears are more economical in terms of fuel consumption.
  • Try to anticipate traffic flow. Look at the traffic as far ahead as possible in order to avoid unnecessary stopping and starting within the flow of traffic.
  • Consider taking public transport to your destination. Using these alternatives reduces congestion, your fuel costs and emissions.
  • Alternative fuels and new vehicle technologies are available and on the increase. Biodiesel, hydrogen fuel, hybrid and electric cars are coming on the market more and more. These alternatives are carbon lean and carbon neutral, and seen as the future of sustainable transport.

Happy holidays! Drive safely!


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