This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 12:29 pm and is filed under Bad motoring, Bicycle advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
A poll on Moneysavingexpert.com reports that, because of the credit crunch and petrol price hikes, 22 percent of the site’s readers are now driving “less aggressively/more efficiently.” 13 percent are driving less.
Drivers who rev away from traffic lights and try to make tiny gains are not just rude and dumb, they’re also wasting lots of money. If it was pointed out to them that driving less aggressively could actually save them hundreds of pounds a year this might have a more dramatic effect on car speeds than any amount of ’speed kills’ promotions.
The average motoring citizen in the UK doesn’t give a stuff about the safety of pedestrians or cyclists. The trend towards more and more aggressive driving is not from just ‘Boy Racers’ but yummy mummies in their SUVs and nurses rushing to work (I’ve witnessed the senseless urban speeding of all these stereotypes recently).
Until the UK adopts the EU Fifth Motoring Directive (fat chance) motorists will continue to drive unthinkingly fast on city streets but a Government publicity campaign explaining how efficient driving is a big money saver could be a real winner. For all concerned.
Moneysavingexpert.com is a HUGE website. In August there were 5.49 million unique visitors. Site owner Martin Lewis gets his many staff to send out a weekly email to 2,433,040 signed-up recipients. Most of the readers are Daily Mail types (just 1 percent read the Financial Times). Some already admit to being slow and careful “grand-dad drivers” but with such a massive readership, Lewis’ advice on driving more efficiently could be making more motorists slow down, improving safety for vulnerable roads users.
In this poll Lewis asked: “Have high fuel costs changed the way you drive?”
The price of petrol is at a record high. There are three main ways to cut the cost of fuel; you can drive more efficiently, up your car/van/bike’s efficiency via decluttering and other tricks, and use comparison sites to find cheaper fuel. Which of the following best describes changes you’ve made in the last two years?
The answers were: (emphasis my own)
I use the car less. 13%
I drive less aggressively/more efficiently: 22%
I’ve decluttered the car/made it more efficient. 1%
I use the car less AND drive less aggressively. 13% (this is an interesting stat!)
I drive less aggressively AND have decluttered the car. 6%
I use the car less AND have decluttered it. 3%
All the methods above. 14%
I don’t drive. 5%
I got rid of my car. 2%
I made all these changes more than two years ago. 6%
I’ve not changed at all. 17% (dimwits)
3895 people have voted to date. Sadly there was no answer ‘I now use my bicycle as well as my car.’
Lewis has written earlier stories on more efficient driving.
It’s possible to drive the same distance in the same time, yet use considerably less fuel. It’s simply about driving more smoothly to boost your fuel efficiency.
Accelerate gradually without over-revving. Speed up smoothly; when you press harder on the pedal more fuel flows, but you could get to the same speed using much less power – a good rule is to stay under 3,000 revs.
Think about road position. To do all this takes road awareness, so the more alert you are, the better you can plan ahead and move gradually.
In many ways this all comes down to one little rule of thumb…
Every time you put your foot on the accelerator, remember the harder you press the more fuel you spend.”
Amen to that!