Study Finds Fuel Conscious Driving Increases Road Safety

The results of 3 recent studies have been published in a Green Fleet news letter (December 2011 edition) as follows: (a) Camera and copier company Canon performed a study of 350 of its drivers and found that 35% fewer accidents were noted once fuel conscious driving techniques were adopted. (b) Similarly a a German company’s fleet noted a 35% reduction in accidents whilst a truck operator in New Zealand recorded 56% less incidents over a 6 month period. The research was carried out in New Zealand by AA Research Foundation and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Whilst such research remains in its infancy, early signs carry a very position message indeed. On that note, we have high lighted some simple yet highly effective tips for motorists to improve their fuel efficiency and hence safety (for our earlier release of efficient driving tips refer to Article 4). 1. Cruise Control: This feature allows motorist to set a desired speed which is then maintained electronically by the vehicle. On longer trips, traffic allowing, this feature should be utilised to maintain a smooth and constant speed. In saying this, motorist should be proactive in turning off cruise control where driving through hilly terrain. Whilst tackling hills the vehicle will attempt to maintain the set speed leading to higher revolutions and hence usage. 2. Switch off power accessories where possible: Endless gadgets are now available for you to plug into your vehicle such as DVD players, coolers, phone chargers and many more. Ensuring these are turned off or unplugged when the ignition is turned off will reduce the load on the engine. If they are all switched on and consuming power, the alternator is forced to work much harder to provide the relevant level of current. The added load to the engine will in turn lead to increased fuel use. 3. Maintain appropriate tyre pressure: Tyres that are not correctly inflated can cause fuel wastage in the order of 5-10%. A simple monthly check will ensure that the vehicle is more comfortable to drive and ride in and more importantly save a significant amount of fuel. Motorists that utilise radial tyres should note that such types of tyres may lose significant pressure and continue to look inflated. On average a tyre is likely to lose 1 PSI of pressure per month and as such a monthly check is highly recommended. Last but certainly not least, be sure to tyre inflation measures should always be obtained from the vehicle operation manual rather than the tyre wall measurements. An additional check to perform is on the “wear marks” on each tyre in the event that your tyres are worn and require replacement, this should be treated with urgency.To avoid down time during replacement, you can organise car hire in Sydney via your service centre in most cases. 4. Sell that second car if possible: A spare car can often lead to unnecessary expenses on the family budget as well as unnecessary use at times. If the need does arise, car rental in Sydney is a viable option and available at increasingly low rates.