Drivers and business owners alike want to get as much from their fuel as possible. Not only is it a major factor for your business’ bottom line and drivers’ wallets, but also driving more economically is better for the environment and company vehicles. And by looking after your company vehicles, your drivers are less likely to need assistance from your business breakdown cover provider. So what can you do to make your fuel go that little bit further?
With many of the most popular tourist hotspots, such as Cornwall, the Lake District and Norfolk, serviced mainly by minor roads and country lanes, you could be in for a bumpy ride riddled with potholes if you venture into the countryside this summer. But is the problem as big as it seems? And should we look abroad for a smoother ride?
‘Eco-safe Driving’ is a recognised and proven style of driving. It contributes to road safety while reducing fuel consumption and emissions and is part of the EU 3rd Directive on Driving Licences, which reflects the increased awareness and need for economical and environmentally friendly driving” Driving Standards Agency.
“Eco-driving / safe driving- Evidence shows that drivers using eco-driving techniques have less accidents. The benefits of eco-driving in respect to road safety: driving is safer, due to greater anticipation and less erratic and unpredictable behaviour. Report by Annie Canal -Energy and Transport European Commission.
“Eco-driving is a set of steps, techniques and behaviours that drivers can employ in preparation of the vehicle before a journey, in planning the journey, in modifying driving style during the journey and in reviewing trip data after the journey, that can, taken together, lead to savings (at times, significant ones) in terms of fuel usage, trip cost, emissions of CO2 and other pollution, and levels of noise from vehicle use. These savings can be realised for relatively low cost compared to other kinds of efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of car use. In addition, trips made with eco-driving techniques can, in many cases, be linked to improved road safety; moreover, the use of such techniques does not increase journey times”. RAC Foundation.
Read more in our safety tips article on how eco driving can improve road safety >
Optimized Driving and the trendy neologism “Eco-Driving” describe a cost-efficient and eco-friendly driving style.
Substantial fuel wastes occur with aggressive driving. Time studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and accelerating to and from traffic signals do not save much time, and moreover, waste fuel and quickly wear out car components such as brakes and tires.
Vehicle efficiency has drastically improved but licensed drivers’ skills rarely fit today’s engine technology. Yet, an adapted driving style can result in a large decrease in fuel consumption and Co2 emissions.
Adopting an Eco-Safe style of driving will also improve punctuality, comfort and safety.
Read more in our safety tips article on Eco-safe driving >
Two people were seriously hurt yesterday due to the stormy weather when their car aquaplaned.
Please tell us if you have ever experienced this phenomenon.
Is the little black box under the bonnet really the saviour of young drivers or is it a way that the insurance industry can attract the already cautious young driver in order to reduce their exposure to the more risky or reckless teenage driver?
My story – On the 19th of August 2012 aged 19 my world was turned upside down. Me and boyfriend Joss had spent the day at the Safari Park before heading back to his and then traveling to my house.
We had spent the day traveling on his motorbike as always with him riding and me as pillion passenger. When we entered the usual island on the way to my house it all went horribly wrong, Joss got in the correct lane and indicated safely to our usual exit. When another driver coming off the dual carriageway failed to stop or slow down and as Joss tried to swerve, hit us.
Nowadays 30 million car drivers are found in the UK and, with these huge numbers, it is really worth asking what British motorists really care about.
RAC has been creating yearly motoring reports for 25 years, underlining the main concerns and ever changing interests related to the driving experience. Some of the main aspects covered in the report are: fuel and insurance prices, young drivers, road safety but also going green when buying a new car.
When it comes to road safety, it is reported that two thirds of motorists think road rage has lately worsened instead of getting better and that other drivers ‘courtesy is less common as well. On the other hand, the majority of drivers also think that cars are much safer today.
Over half of drivers believe that the cost of motoring is the most significant change in the past 25 years and most of them feel they are much more dependent on their cars than they were in the past.
84% of motorists stated that the conditions of their roads have worsened and half of them are, on the other side, unhappy with the amount of motoring taxes they pay.
The costs of driving are obviously one of the main concerns as insurance seems to affect individuals’ budgets significantly, especially when it comes to young drivers.
A section of the report is also specifically focused on future motoring predictions; as an example, the predicted amount of petrol cars that will have to use unleaded petrol in the future will get to 85%. It also seems that half of the full amount of cars currently circulating will be banned from city centres as they have introduced pedestrian-only areas.
In general terms, a green trend can be noticed when it comes to choosing a new car with 8 drivers out of 10 taking this point into consideration.
Overall, the report gives an interesting overview of the driving scenario with interesting graphs illustrating the most significant trends.
More cyclists have died in recent years than ever before so it’s no wonder equipment like vehicle camera systems and radar-based solutions are becoming more popular with HGVs.
In London 50% of all cyclist deaths involve lorries, which only comprise about 5% of traffic. A high number of these occur when left turning trucks crush cyclists.
Charlie Lloyd, the campaigns officer for the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), says lorries, especially construction trucks, were also disproportionately involved in the deaths of pedestrians and motorcyclists.
He also said certain traffic was more to blame than others:
“Worst of all is the tipper companies, which tend to be smaller. A lot of them are owner-drivers, or subcontractors to subcontractors.
“It’s a problem the police are aware of but they can realistically only look at it after there’s been a crash. They don’t have the resources to stop lorries and check records against invoices.”
One solution has been to make freight companies keep to certain safety standards before they win contracts. Crossrail and, more widely, Transport for London are already doing this.
Boris Johnson, the mayor, has even called for a ban on HGVs with no cycle-safety measures in the capital.
Companies across the country should start following Crossrail’s example and fit their vehicles with cycle safety equipment to ensure cycles are being kept safe.
Crossrail requirements include that HGVs are fitted with a vehicle camera, blind spot detection, which warns the driver when a cyclist is in the near-side blind spot, and under-run guards to stop cyclists coming into contact with lorry wheels.
Vehicles must also carry warning signs to alert cyclists and pedestrians of the risks they face by getting too close to HGVs.
We recommend installing a 360° vehicle camera system around a lorry. In particular, one that uses the latest video software to merge the images of four wide angle reversing cameras together and create a single bird’s eye view of the whole vehicle.
That way, drivers can easily see cyclists coming on their monitor and blindspots will not hinder you.
Of course, it’s also important to install the radar based warning systems too, ones that warns both the driver and cyclist.
Many drivers have either witnessed or heard of people reading a book, doing their makeup and worse still, eating their breakfast cereal out of a bowl balanced on a steering wheel while driving, these are obvious and dangerous activities but they’re many more subtle distractions that lots of drivers do not consider impedes their ability to drive in a safe and controlled manner.
Most drivers like to think that they can multi task whilst driving but any activity that’s dissipates a drivers concentration is a danger to themselves, their passengers and other road users. In the majority of incidents drivers only have a few seconds to react to avoid a collision, taking your eyes of the road to adjust the radio station or looking out of the vehicle’s side window at something that has caught your eye may only take a few seconds but those seconds are precious when confronted by a car that’s jumped the lights or a child who runs out from behind a parked car in front of your vehicle. It is a terrible burden to live with the knowledge that you caused the death of a child because you gazed at a dress or suit in a shop window instead of fully concentrating on your driving.
How many times have you driven home from work or a well-travelled route and can’t remember anything about the journey?. Was it because there was nothing memorable about your journey, or was it that you were whiling the time away by talking on the phone or mentally making a shopping list or thinking about your forthcoming holiday. Countless drivers have experienced the phenomenon of not remembering their journey and sadly for some they paid the ultimate price for this lack of concentration.
Lots of cyclists and motorcyclists have experienced or heard the well-used phrase, I didn’t see you coming, for many drivers this is because they failed to look and look again before proceeding possibly because they were distracted or they were just not paying sufficient attention which is necessary to drive safely.
Please look at the enclosed graphic kindly supplied to Roaddriver by Bolt insurance, it lists the main reasons and activities for driver distractions.