Intelligent Driving & Fuel Saving Tips

At Chill we believe that driving should be an intelligent activity. The best drivers have a number of positive qualities, but above all it is their intelligent approach to the driving task which separates them from the ordinary driver. This intelligence is of the practical kind. It has little to do with success at the traditional activities of most schools or universities. It is accessible to nearly all people, whatever your background or previous experience. In our line of work, we are on the road constantly carting goods from A-B & interstate. We have an Intelligent Driving Manuel handbook which is aimed at explaining that driving should be an “intelligent” activity that reinforces the positive qualities of the best drivers. Here we will share some best driving tips & fuel saving ideas.

A few quick facts:

The average cost of fatal or serious injury crash is about $750.000 to the community

More people have died on the roads this century than in wars

Even though campaigns have been effective, alcohol, speed & fatigue are the biggest killers on the road

The basic elements of intelligent driving are:

  • A recognition that all road users, have a common interest in their mutual survival & welfare
  • A systematic approach to driving, using habits & routines, which have been developed to increase driving safety & efficiency
  • A detailed understanding of personal, vehicle & road limitations & always staying within these limits
  • Rational acceptance of road laws & social standards of conduct on the road as being essential for mutual survival & welfare
  • Knowing the real consequences of driving actions (knowing what happens if you do something, from detailed actions such as holding a steering wheel in a certain way to general behaviours such as drinking alcohol)

Fuel Efficiency

Australia’s 11 million cars produce more than 46 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes global warming – and this figure is set to grow by up to 60% according to government estimates. What this means is that we need to start reducing our car emissions now to achieve a reduction of 30% of total emissions by 2030. By being more aware of the way we drive, every individual can do their bit to conserve resources and protect the environment. The general equation is quite simple: the less fuel consumed, the fewer emissions produced. But driving with greater awareness not only helps the environment, but is also easy on the purse strings. With this is mind, Chill has devised a short environmental guide which is designed to make it easier for every driver to drive in a way that is both ecologically and economically sound.Here are some of the things you can do to save money and reduce our environmental impact when getting from A to B. Reducing fuel consumption means reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs – regardless of the car you drive.

Drive smoothly

  • Aggressive driving can use as much as one-third more fuel compared to conservative driving.  Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and try to keep the steering action as smooth as possible.

Tune and service the engine

  • A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to four per cent. Change the oil regularly and follow the car manufacturer’s recommendation on servicing.

Keep the tyres at the correct pressure

  • Correctly inflated tyres are safer and last longer, and they also reduce the amount of energy required to keep the vehicle rolling.  A tyre that is under-inflated by one psi  (pound per square inch) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as three per cent.

Travel light

  • For every extra 45 kilograms (100 pounds) carried in a vehicle, the fuel efficiency can drop by two per cent, so keep the boot and rear seat clear of any unnecessary items that just add weight to the vehicle.

Take the roof rack off

  • Remove roof racks or roof bars if they are not being used to carry anything.  They reduce the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as five per cent.

Use the correct engine oil

  • Always use the recommended grade of motor oil.  Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by one or two percent.  Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.

Avoid excess idling

  • Idling gets a vehicle nowhere but still burns fuel.  Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need to drive.

Avoid high speeds

  • The faster you travel, the more wind resistance you’ll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. Travelling at 110km/h uses up to 25% more fuel than cruising at 90km/h. For city driving, 60km/h is the most fuel efficient speed.

Maintain the distance

  • Leaving a sensible distance between your car and the vehicle in front gives the driver ample time to anticipate obstacles and to brake evenly.

Use air conditioning sparingly

  • Air conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses additional fuel when operating, so limit its use to particularly hot days. On milder days, use the fan instead of air conditioning.

Check the air filter

  • The air filter keeps impurities from damaging your engine.  Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10 per cent while helping to protect your engine.

Avoid rush hour or traffic jam hotspots

  • If you can travel outside of peak times and avoid known areas of heavy traffic, you’ll spend less time stuck in queues and slow-moving traffic, thus consuming less fuel.

Keep calm

  • When you are not calm, you are more likely to make judgement errors.  Fuel efficiency is all about smoothness. Judgement and keeping calm is absolutely crucial to achieving fuel economy.

Use the handbrake on slopes

  • Many motorists do not use the handbrake when stopped temporarily on a slope. Instead, they either partially disengage the clutch (on manual transmission vehicles), or use the accelerator (on automatic vehicles), to keep the vehicles from rolling back. Both actions use fuel unnecessarily.

Accident Sense

  • If you are involved in a collision you have a legal obligation to render assistance, report injuries & report third party damage. You never know when you might be called on to assist in an accident, & we believe everyone should do a first aid course. And what about the insurance report? The following points may assist your insurer:
  1. Draw a diagram of the scene
  2. Exchange registration number & name(s) addresses & telephone number
  3. What were the conditions like? – road & weather
  4. What are the measurements at the scene – road, path etc
  5. Date, day, & time
  6. Any witness(es) – name, address, telephone
  7. Take photographs – vehicle damage, injuries, other relevant points


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