With air pollution becoming a big concern globally, the concept of eco-driving is becoming quite significant for drivers at all levels. Statistics indicate that 5 million people across the EU make use of road transport and it generates close to 2% of the total GDP. While roadways are the life blood of the European economy through the countries, carbon emissions and energy efficiency remain a major concern. The exhaust from fuel driven vehicles is a major contributor to the problem of carbon emission as for every litre of petrol combustion, 2.2 kilograms of Carbon Dioxide is produced.
With the European target of 80% CO2 emission reduction by 2050, eco-driving will play an important role throughout Europe. In addition to being beneficial for the environment, eco driving also provides more comfort to the driver and the passengers as well and improves road safety. Small changes made by a driver by adopting some new principles and techniques will enhance the vehicle’s fuel economy and reduce emissions as well.
Adopting the practices of eco-driving offers numerous benefits to a driver. Some of the major points are highlighted below.
Once we have discussed the answer to the question of what can be achieved by the driving style known as “eco-driving”, let us look at some practices that eco-driving involves. There are some simple rules which are termed as the “golden rules” of eco-driving and we will discuss them in the following section.
The first rule advises drivers to keep the right amount of distance from the nearest vehicle and keep a close eye on the traffic flow in order to minimise the use of brakes. It calls for the drivers to anticipate the road conditions and the action of other drivers as much as possible. Maintaining a minimum distance between the cars to 3 seconds will allow a driver to conserve momentum in the best possible manner and will also provide sufficient reaction time.
A simple way to follow this is by stepping off the accelerator while the traffic is slowing down. Driving smoothly without any sharp acceleration and heavy braking is the key. Making use of the car’s momentum by letting the car roll is another effective way followed in eco-driving practices. This will definitely vary from one car model to the other and will depend of the suggestions of the manufacturer. We provide detailed driving lessons Dublin has to offer.
This step advises the drivers to drive smoothly at a low rpm with the highest gear possible. Driving at high speeds along with high rpms increase the fuel consumption of the vehicle drastically and hence the use of cruise control is recommended whenever possible. The data gathered by the Automobile Association (AA) in the UK indicates that a car moving at a speed of 136 km/h uses almost 25 percent more fuel than another moving at 112 km/h. It is always prudent to use a sensible gear ratio that enhances fuel economy.
The third step recommends shifting to a higher gear by approximately the 2,000 rpm mark. Depending on the traffic situations and the vehicle conditions, early shifting is highly recommended. While driving on flat roads, shifting to 5th gear at 50 km/h and 6th gear at any speed above 60 km/h is advised.
Full throttle acceleration is never recommended and while driving uphill, a suitable gear should be selected to minimise the pressing of the acceleration to its fullest extent. Skipping gears can be beneficial for saving fuel while accelerating in a rapid manner.
Make sure that all the tyres of the vehicle have the optimum pressure as advised by the vehicle manual. A deflated tyre will increase the frictional resistance while driving and thereby increase the overall fuel consumption. Check the tyres before any long drive as low tyre pressure is a safety risk.
It is best that you avoid any dead weight in your car and remove any object that increases the overall drag coefficient. You can remove the roof racks when they are not in use and use air conditioning sparingly to improve the fuel economy.
In addition to these main suggestions, there are also some other tips that are an important part of the eco-driving practice.
After going through this article about what can be achieved by the driving style known as ‘eco-driving’, you might feel that the practice will slow you down when you are in a rush. This idea is not true at all, as studies have shown that eco-driving takes the same time and at times even less than traditional driving. The small changes of eco-driving can make big impacts in the environment when used by drivers from all around the country. Not only is it good for your car and your wallet, it also contributes a lot to make your area free from environmental pollutants.
So search out the nearest eco-driving training centre near you and enlist for the next course to take your driving skills to the green level.
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