DURBAN – IT’S not much, but the price of petrol is expected to drop by around 10c from tomorrow. For diesel drivers, they can expect to fork out 20c more.
“Whether you benefit from a decrease or face an increase, now is a good time for South African drivers to remind themselves how changing even just a few bad driving habits can make a considerable difference,” said MasterDrive chief executive Eugene Herbert.
He said there are many benefits to creating a workforce of competent and safe drivers, in particular, fleets can see significant fuel savings.
“For many fleets, fuel costs are in the top three expenses. The following figures show the difference defensive driving can make to a fuel bill,” he said.
Herbert said in a vehicle using 10L per 100km, defensive driving can reduce consumption by at least 1L/100km giving drivers a 9L per 100km consumption on a tank. This can result in a saving of at least R5 000 a year per vehicle.
“Ultimately, defensive driving can teach drivers to reduce their fuel consumption by between 18 and 20%,” he said.
“These kinds of savings are possible for every driver, with a few changes to driving habits. Try to reduce the amount of time that you come to a complete standstill. You use more petrol the more speed you need to regain momentum when driving. This includes anticipating traffic light changes and avoiding routes that have more stop/starts,” he said.
Herbert said the next tip is to avoid speeding. He said a reduction of speed by between 20km/h and 30km/h can have fuel savings of up to 20%.
“This includes adjusting speed to the conditions. If bad weather causes surrounding vehicles to slow down, adjust your own speed to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. Speeding often also results in reckless driving and habits like swerving between lanes and tailgating other drivers, which increases fuel consumption,” he said.
Tips to reduce fuel consumption:
- Plan trips ahead to choose the most efficient routes.
- Keep your revs between 2 500rpm and 3 000rpm.
- Avoid idling for longer than 30 seconds.
- Ensure tyres are properly inflated – under-inflated tyres increase consumption.
- Ensure maintenance is up-to-date.