Be selfish – drive eco-friendly

2016-03-22 06:00

Eco-driving is a driving style that is both ecological and economical – a combination of safe and defensive driving.

A national tyre fitment centre and an advanced driver training company encourage motorists to understand some of the key benefits of eco-driving.

According to their statement this combination of driving styles encourages drivers to use their cars in an environmentally efficient way to improve road safety, reduce fuel consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

They say adopting an eco-friendly style of driving will have a positive impact both financially and on the environment.

Some of the benefits of environmentally efficient driving are that it reduces the use of and demand for non-renewable fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, helps to improve the overall air quality and reduces ambient noise levels. Benefits also include an increase in the life of your engine, tyres, brake pads and savings in maintenance and fuel bills.

There are several ways to help reduce the amount of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere and, at the same time, save time and money through lower fuel consumption. The changes can be small, such as making sure your fuel cap is secure, to more beneficial changes such as better route planning.


By looking well ahead, scanning the road and easing off the petrol in good time, it is possible to avoid harsh and late braking, which will immediately save fuel.

Keep the car moving, albeit very slowly, to conserve the car’s kinetic energy, which in turn saves fuel and reduces CO2.

Drive smoothly

Using the steering, gears and brakes in a smooth manner – rather than harsh, last-minute braking – allows the car to decelerate using engine braking.

This is not only more comfortable for you and your passengers, but it is more efficient due to energy loss.

Using the car’s momentum, like travelling downhill with no petrol input, can save a considerable amount of fuel.

Following distance

Driving with an appropriate distance between you and the car in front is not only safer but has the potential to be more efficient as it avoids sudden and late braking. The better your forward visibility and planning, the more time you will have to anticipate sudden changes.


The faster you go, the greater the fuel consumption and more pollution you will create. Driving at 120km/H uses up to 9% more fuel than at 100km/H and up to 15% more than at 80km/H.

Driving at a steady speed and using cruise control where appropriate during the course of your journey will help to keep fuel consumption to the minimum. Sudden and abrupt variations in speed eats up copious amounts of fuel and gives off increased amounts of C02 emissions.

Speed humps

Braking sharply, accelerating, then braking sharply again for the next traffic bump will consume a lot more fuel than gently riding the bumps at a steady pace.


Being in the correct gear is very important if you are trying to save fuel. In some cases cruising in third gear can be 25% less efficient than cruising in a higher gear. Changing into the highest appropriate gear as soon as you can is more preferable than changing up and down through each gear. Keeping the engine in a low gear longer than necessary consumes large amounts of fuel.

Try to keep your engine running at its most efficient level (for the majority of engines, between 2000 and 3000rpm). You should shift up a gear when the engine is revving at around 2500rpm for petrol engines and 2000rpm in a diesel car. Correctly matching engine speed and road speed, plus using the gears in the most cost effective way, will reduce fuel consumption and also wear and tear.

Air conditioning

This should be used wisely and switched off if not necessary.

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