Fleet News

Poor driving habits fuel world pollution

ANALYSIS of the driving behaviour of more than 200 company motorists has found that a catalogue of faults behind the wheel are affecting fuel efficiency and increasing emissions.

Among the most common faults are poor use of clutch, gears and engine and ill-judged overtaking manoeuvres.

Many drivers use the engine to slow the car down as it approaches obstacles such as roundabouts but doing so can add to fuel consumption and increase carbon dioxide emission levels.

Driver training and risk management company Peak Performance carried out the driving faults study.

Les Hammond, director of risk management, said: ‘This survey shows that drivers need to be brought up to date with, and taught to make the most of, the latest vehicle safety technology.

‘This includes the use of brakes to slow down the vehicle sufficiently to make the next manoeuvre, rather than slowing it down using the engine, gears and clutch.

‘It’s a trait that many people have been taught when they first learnt to drive, and they need to adopt more up-to-date methodology. Not only will they have more control of the vehicle, but these techniques will work towards achieving the vehicle’s full potential for maximum mpg and reduced emissions.’

Poor overtaking was another common fault with drivers leaving too little room on the left side of the vehicle as they passed objects such as cars or other road users.

Other faults identified were the way they held and used the steering wheel, poor hazard management and often not responding to hazards with appropriate actions even once they had been identified.

Hammond added: ‘There was a tendency for drivers to allow themselves to get into hazardous situations even though they had identified that there was a hazard ahead.

The attitude seemed to be that they hoped it would sort itself out or simply go away.’

The survey recorded a total of 815 driving faults at four faults per driver, even though the drivers knew they were being assessed.

Peak has launched a specific course aimed at achieving the benefits of better fuel consumption and reduced emissions.

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