At 1st Class Driver Training we are proud of the service we provide, but are aware of the impact the driver training industry has on our roads and the long-term effect it has on the environment.:
This refers to your driving technique and how it impacts on the control of the vehicle, fuel efficiency and, ultimately, the amount of CO2 emissions produced. By adopting simple and subtle changes to your driving, your technique can result in economies in fuel consumption as well as less wear and tear on your vehicle mechanically.
Since September 2008, when taking a Practical driving test, you will be assessed on how your driving technique demonstrates an efficient and eco-safe manner . You cannot fail the test if you do not demonstrate the necessary eco-safe techniques – however the examiner will give you feedback on how areas of your driving could be improved in order to make efficiencies in your general car control.
Avoid over-revving the engine
Many drivers take too long changing up through the gears - on average you should look to shift up at about 2,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) with a diesel engine and by 2,500 rpm in a petrol engine. Changing up through the gears too early can cause the engine to labour and consequently increase your fuel consumption.
Maintain a steady speed
Look to be in as high a gear as possible for the road conditions, without causing the engine to struggle. Staying in a lower gear for too long will result in higher engine revs and the engine will drink more fuel. It is not necessary to change up and down through the gears one by one - where conditions allow you can skip through the gears.
Avoid heavy braking when looking to slow down. Where possible look to decelerate by easing off the accelerator with the car in gear. Engine braking is far more efficient. Avoid Coasting (travelling with the gear in neutral when approaching a junction or rolling downhill) as this compromises the assistance you gain from engine braking and removes the ability for you to accelerate out of potentially hazardous situations, as well as removing the level of control the driver has. Coasting used to be a fuel-saving practice, but with modern engine management systems the supply of fuel to the engine is cut when pressure on the accelerator is reduced.
Good forward planning
Look well ahead for oncoming hazards in order to plan in good time, avoiding the use of late braking, being in the correct gear for the road conditions, and decelerating earlier through the use of engine braking.
Speed calming areas
Accelerating between speed bumps then braking heavily before the next one will cause your vehicle to consume fuel rapidly. Look to maintain a constant speed between humped areas (ideally 15 - 20mph).
Tyre pressure checks
Fuel consumption can be improved by up to 2% if tyre pressures are checked regularly, and maintained at the correct pressures for the required loads. Wrongly inflated tyres can be dangerous and affect the handling of the vehicle.
Reduce your use of the air conditioning
Research has shown that using the air-con at lower speeds (around town and city) increases fuel consumption - in this case it would be more economical to open the window slightly. At higher speeds (out of town driving, dual carriageways and motorways) using the air-con is less noticeable to consumption of fuel. Driving at higher speeds with the window(s) open, however, can add to the aerodynamic drag on the vehicle, although many tests have found this difference to be negligible.
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