EcoSafe-driving is about driving in a way that suits you, your car and the environment and minimises risk to yourself and others. It is driving to reduce fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, accident rates and noise levels – therefore having a positive impact on both you as a driver and the environment.
Before you start driving – Refueling
Before setting off
Hazard awareness/planning and anticipation: Identify hazards early, allowing adequate time to react – this will result in braking and acceleration that is smooth and progressive. Maintain space around your vehicle and drive calmly.
An engine has to work hard to move a stationary car. When approaching a roundabout or junction try to get an early view and continue if safe to do so. Engine braking when possible: e.g. traveling downhill. With your foot off the accelerator the engine needs little, if any, fuel. Never coast to save fuel; vehicle control must not be compromised.
Stopping the engine: When you are stuck in traffic or waiting for someone, the engine is idling so you are wasting fuel and adding to CO2 emissions. If you are likely to be at a standstill for a while, simply switch off your engine.
Best when hot: Low speed maneuvering increases fuel consumption. When you park up, position yourself so that it will be easy to drive away when the engine is cold.
Start/moving away: Try to avoid excessive revving when starting your engine and moving away.
Appropriate use of speed: Ensure that your speed is appropriate to the road, traffic and weather conditions. Don’t exceed speed limits. Inappropriate speed can reduce fuel consumption and increase emissions.
Gears: It is not always necessary to change up or down through each gear; try skipping gears e.g. 2nd to 4th or 5th to 2nd. As soon as conditions allow, use the highest possible gear, without making the engine struggle.
Accelerator: Use the accelerator smoothly and progressively. When appropriate take your foot off the accelerator and allow the momentum of the vehicle to take you forward. Avoid pumping the accelerator as this uses more fuel.
Timing and Flow
By Mark Farnworth
Disclaimer: Driving is never a black and white activity, but full of grey areas, therefore neither I nor my fellow Observers in the St Helens & District Group of Advanced Motorists are liable for any consequences you may experience as a result of reading our advice. You are the driver. You should be in control of your vehicle at all times.