Driver Training for Economy and the Environment
It is wise to adopt an economical driving style to both save money on fuel costs and help protect the environment. This method of driving has become a major issue for driving instructors and is classed as an item for marking on the driving test. Let's see what can be taught to drivers at both a learner and advanced level.
The popular media and science have made society more aware of the environmental impact that we all have. By driving in a more economical and less demanding style we can begin to address these issues to some extent. By driving in a more considered and less aggressive way we can save fuel and prolong the working life of the vehicle. Cars cause a lot of air pollution by burning fossil fuels. These can cause harm to people with breathing difficulties as the pollution occurs at ground level.
The main emphasis in economy driving is forward planning and hazard awareness. This gives maximum use of the vehicle's momentum with the least possible use of acceleration and braking. Keeping a good separation distance from the vehicle you are following leaves time to simply come off the accelerator instead of braking harshly and then accelerating again. Always keep at least a two second time gap between you and the vehicle in front in dry conditions.
Driver trainers need to teach moving away in a car smoothly without over revving the engine during lessons. This is common among learners and plenty of practice at hill starts will be needed to correct it. Taking the foot off the accelerator when driving downhill will save a lot of fuel without compromising control of the vehicle. If stationary for more than a few minutes, particularly at level crossings it is worth turning off the engine. Anticipate when the lights are going to change and the barriers raised as you don't want to hold up traffic with a late restart of the engine.
Driver trainers will often have a roof sign fitted to the tuition vehicle. As it often shows the L plate it must be fitted during lessons. It does however produce a lot of drag which increases fuel consumption so is worth removing when not teaching. People taking intensive driving lessons can be advised on reducing drag in their own vehicles. Removing a roof rack and keeping the boot empty of needless items will save petrol. If a driver only tends to make short journeys then the fuel tank should not be completely filled. The car must carry the weight of it's own fuel so only filling the tank half way makes it more economical. Air conditioning uses a lot of fuel so at lower speeds open the windows instead.
Combine these tips with a smoother use of the controls, keep your speed down so fuel burns properly in the engine and you will be going a long way towards saving fuel and helping the environment which benefits us all.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello there. My name is Russ Chaplin. I am a DSA approved driving instructor giving driving lessons Nottingham. I hold the Diploma in Driving Instruction and have passed both the Diamond Advanced test Nottingham andDiamond Special driving test, qualifying me as a Diamond advanced Instructor. After nearly 10 years giving defensive driver training Nottingham I am still as enthusiastic as ever.