10 Ways to Drive Safe and be Green
Become a ‘Green’ Driver and Save Money
If you’re one of the lucky ones that uses public transport (or unlucky depending on your experience!) you won’t commute in a vehicle to work each day. Yet if you do, it is important in today’s climate to drive as efficiently and as safely as possible. An added benefit is that ‘Green’ driving could also save you money. Here are ten ways to ensure you get the most from your vehicle:
1. Check Your Tyre Pressure
One of the first things you must do, if not THE first thing. Low tyre pressure creates more effort on the engine which increases fuel consumption. Check your tyre pressure before a long journey and at least once per week if possible.
2. Warm Up the Vehicle
This is especially relevant to diesel engines. If the temperature outside is zero degrees or below zero, let your vehicle warm up for around 3 to 5 minutes before driving off. Let the engine warm up gradually, this way it will combust more efficiently.
3. Don’t Accelerate too Fast
Accelerate smoothly otherwise you’re wasting fuel. Maintain a constant pace to ensure optimum fuel efficiency.
4. Check Your Speed
Driving too fast increases aerodynamic pressure making a vehicle consume more fuel. Of course, driving too fast can also increase strain to the engine. Speeding is breaking the law. In 2011 14% of road traffic accidents were caused by motorists exceeding the speed limit. The figure in 2017 is still similar. So drive safe and be green!
5. Avoid Constant Braking
There’s nothing worse than jerky driving, it causes added stress on the engine not to mention fuel waste. Use the clutch and the gears – it’s why they are there, to slow down gradually to the point when the vehicle stops.
6. Reduce Carbon Emissions
It costs you money – every 10 minutes of vehicle idling costs at least one-tenth of a litre in wasted fuel. This is unavoidable if you get caught in traffic congestion however, if you’re stationary turn off the engine. If you have a vehicle manufactured after 2012 it’s likely the the car is fitted with a start-stop system so the engine will cut out anyway if you stop, which will save you money and reduce carbon emissions.
7. Green Car Option?
Not everyone has an option to purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle. However, each car or vehicle has a different fuel efficiency; the better the fuel effectiveness the more environmentally friendly it is likely to be, and the more you will save on your fuel bill. Check the fuel efficiency before you buy a car by looking at the MPG (miles per gallon). The higher the MPG, the better the fuel efficiency.
8. Replace Air Filters
Air filters can get blocked with dust and debris. If your vehicle feels like it has poor acceleration or seems like it is sluggish get it checked out or book a service. Changing air filters for new ones could reduce fuel costs by as much as 10%.
9. Reduce Gear Change
In the ’80’s it was fashionable to learn to ‘Double Declutch’ on a vehicle. Google it to find out how what that is. Online advice suggests that it makes the engine more efficient but the debate discusses whether ‘Double Declutching’ is worth it on modern cars. One thing is certain, dropping into lower gears and driving at higher RPM’s increases fuel consumption. So, learn to change gears better, and quicker. It will make you a Green driver!
10. Service the Vehicle Annually
Probably an unpopular piece of advice because vehicle services can be relatively expensive these days unless you know a reliable registered mechanic you trust. But a regular service could be the difference between breaking down or not. It will also make the vehicle last much longer. This is about saving long term not short term. A good engine oil change, brake check, and spark plugs check should be necessary annually.