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A Clean Licence Doesn't Necessarily Mean Fuel-Efficient Driving

Posted: Tuesday, 02 December 2014

There is no doubt that a clean licence is a must for company drivers. No company wants the liability attached to a driver whose licence demonstrates carelessness or a tendency to break the law. However, these days, companies are equally concerned about fuel-efficient drivers who can get the most out of today's vehicles. Just beware that a clean licence does not necessarily mean a driver is fuel-efficient.

A clean licence does usually mean a driver is practising safe driving habits. Nevertheless, one can be safe without being fuel-efficient. That is why we have seen a steady increase in the number of eco-driving courses available across the UK. These courses aim to teach drivers how to use modern vehicles to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. In doing so, they are saving petrol and helping to protect the environment.

Eco-Driving Explained

Eco-driving is a way of adjusting one's driving habits in order to make a vehicle as efficient as possible. It deals with a number of areas including acceleration, braking, cornering, and idling. There are also some mechanical issues to consider as well. Let us take a look at some of the most common factors:

  • Acceleration – The rate at which a driver accelerates is one of the most important factors determining fuel efficiency. Faster rates of acceleration use more fuel than gradual acceleration. Eco-driving encourages drivers to be lighter on the accelerator
  • Braking – Believe it or not, heavy braking can reduce fuel efficiency by forcing the engine to work harder to power hydraulic brake lines. A more gradual slowdown is better for your car. Students learning to drive economically learn to anticipate potential braking situations
  • Tyres – Tyre pressure affects fuel mileage based on friction. Tyres that are not inflated enough create more friction and drag, reducing fuel efficiency noticeably. Tyre pressures that are too high do not save fuel, but they do reduce tyre life
  • Weight – Carrying around excessive weight in your vehicle will definitely reduce fuel mileage. Commercial drivers sometimes have no choice but to carry extra weight in order to properly service customers. Nonetheless, anything that does not need to be carried should be left back at the depot
  • Electrical Components – Every time you turn on an electrical component, such as the air-conditioning or the sound system, the engine has to work harder to provide the electricity necessary to power these devices. The less you use them, the less fuel you will burn

Whether a driver takes an eco-driving course or not, simply making a point to not drive so aggressively can work toward saving fuel. Driving more passively and cautiously will also help reduce the risk of accidents and violations.

As a business owner, keep track of your drivers in terms of their fuel efficiency and their licences. If you need help with driver licence checking, Fleet Licence Check can assist you. Our services make it possible for you to ensure your drivers always have a clean licence when behind the wheel.