Experts pick five top tips to save fuel
Driver-training authorities in 13 European countries have devised a five-point plan for motorists to save petrol and money when they drive.
They say the "five golden rules" apply to motorists all over the world and can save them about 10 per cent in petrol costs.
The rules came out of discussions between international training, car and driving experts, the German Road Safety Council and international motoring group FIA, of which WA’s RAC is affiliated.
The rules are:
- Drive at low rpm. Smooth driving at a constant speed saves petrol compared with constant braking and accelerating.
- Shift up early. Traffic conditions must be taken into account but the basic guide for changing gear is second gear 20km/h, third gear 30km/h, fourth gear 40km/h and fifth gear 50km/h.
- Check tyre pressure regularly. Low air pressure is a safety risk and consumes petrol.
- Anticipate what is ahead. By keeping a safe distance from the car in front, a driver can anticipate traffic flow better and not rely on quick braking and acceleration.
- Do not waste fuel. Turn off electric devices when not being used and avoid unnecessary loads.
Co-ordinator Jochan Lau, from the German Road Safety Council, said the rules were deliberately simple but were considered the most effective way of saving petrol.
He said the rules were now being incorporated in driving schools across Europe with a view to expanding to other countries.
“We believe we can do more than teach people to drive — we can teach them to drive efficiently, ” Mr Lau said.
“While we conservatively estimate the petrol savings will be up to 10 per cent, we have seen some much bigger savings.”
The rules were released to coincide with the International Transport Forum in Leipzig in Germany, a three-day conference attended by transport ministers and businessmen from 53 countries.
Mr Lau said several delegates took part in training that used the five rules and they saved between 9 and 32 per cent in fuel costs.
© The West Australian
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