Safety/Fuel Economy Guidance - 24th September 2015

They say, the simple things in life are best, and driving is no exception. Doing the simple things in your car will not only improve your safety but also save you money.
Company owners and directors who make a small investment to educate their drivers via policies, driver management processes and if necessary training all of which Fleetrisk24 can arrange for you, can lower the risk of dents, wear and tear and down time to company vehicles, which result in added running costs.

Many company drivers use their own vehicle for work purposes, or will drive a company owned vehicle and claim back fuel expense on a mileage basis. By making a few simple changes your fuel efficiency will go up as will your net gain between what you claim and what you spend. Most drivers could comfortably make a 10% saving on fuel and many could exceed that by a long way.

Some of the top things that make a difference are easy to achieve and don’t require any driving skills, simply a bit of thought and better planning.
Reduce the weight of the vehicle where possible. The heavier the vehicle the more fuel it will burn, and often cars carry needless weight, things that accumulate in the boot that we will ‘clear out’ from time to time. Bike and roof racks also create drag when moving and therefore increase fuel consumption.

Plan your route. Cut out unnecessary journeys, or mileage, by thinking about your route. Avoid busy times (rush hour) when, as well as using more fuel, arrival time will also be less predictable and the chances of being late for a meeting increase. Known busy routes where you will get stuck in slow moving traffic should be avoided.
Aircon increases fuel consumption so think about how you use it. This is a little like heating at home, you have to weigh up the pros and cons. Generally we don’t just leave the heating on when we don’t really need it and aircon should be treated the same way. Obviously there are advantages to using it and a more comfortable environment in the car can be beneficial for comfort and fatigue reasons, however, keep it in mind and switch it off when possible to save fuel.

Underinflated tyres can not only be a contributory cause to loss of vehicle control or crashing, but a tyre that is underinflated will significantly affect the fuel consumption. This is a basic vehicle check that should be carried out regularly by the driver, and should form part of your organisations driving policies. A generally well maintained vehicle will also be more efficient, and of course, safer.
So, to things you can do while driving that will save fuel.

Keep moving whenever possible as the effort required to get a vehicle moving from standstill uses a lot of fuel. This is achieved by looking further ahead and reducing speed earlier thus reducing the chance of having to stop.
Driving at a constant speed and within the speed limit is more efficient. Driving fast just to slow down again further up the road at the next queue is less efficient and driving over the speed limit will also increase fuel consumption as well as compromising the safety of all road users.

Harsh acceleration and braking reduce efficiency. Plan well, allowing adequate journey time so you don’t feel pressured or need to rush, and looking well ahead and being able to react to hazards early will make the drive smoother, more efficient and reduce unnecessary wear and tear. As you decelerate the vehicle also stops using fuel, therefore, better planning when dealing with a hazard rather than driving towards them and braking later will help economy.

Helping an at work driver to be aware of their responsibilities, when driving on behalf of their employer, should be part of an organisations driving for work policies, and can improve the working environment.
Fleetrisk24 have solutions for all aspects of transport health and safety, including work related road safety, and help many organisations to identify those activities that place them and their drivers most at risk. The correct solutions that meet the needs of the organisation and driver will not only help protect an organisation from possible prosecution, but can also improve the efficiency of at work drivers as well as reducing stress, a big factor in employee absenteeism.

Many issues that feature in our news section may be of concern to you as an employer if you employ company drivers. It is important that you, as a company, are fully compliant with your responsibilities to those employees.

Fleetrisk24 Ltd specialises in Work Related Road Safety and Workplace Transport Safety and can help you put policies and processes in place to address your transport health and safety requirements.

For information about how we can help, in conjunction with you, manage your at work drivers, either:
Speak with an advisor on 01732 864999 or, Email: 

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