Defensive and Efficient Driving: a Roadtripper’s Key to Road Zen

Defensive and fuel efficient driving are the ultimate keys to road safety and the optimum operation of your car’s system for a long time. By being a defensive and fuel efficient driver, you’ll also add up more on savings from frequent gas ups.
Follow these simple and easy steps to become a defensive and fuel efficient driver.
Become a defensive driver
1. Before starting your car, be sure that you have buckled up everyone, including children and pets (if any)
2. Stay in the speed limit. In some areas, (especially highly urbanized zones) driving too fast or too slow will increase your chance of a collision.
3. Be cautious of changing situations on the road and be prepared to responds quickly. If you notice a car that’s straddling, weaving, making wide turns, stopping suddenly or not responding to traffic signals, then know that the driver may be impaired or distracted. Probable causes could be alcohol, distraction or on the phone.
4. Stay away from impaired drivers. Slow down a bit to increase following distance. If the driver is behind you, turn at the nearest corner. Always remember to never let or encourage an impaired driver pass you. If a vehicle crosses over into your lane, pull over the roadside. Sound your horn or flash lights to attract attention.
5. Maintain presence of mind to quickly respond to any situation. Never drink and drive. Never use your mobile phone while on the road.
6. Always follow traffic rules and regulations. Never contest right of way or engage racing on busy roads.
7. Always observe courtesy and respect for other drivers.
Drive efficiently
1. Regularly tune-up your gasoline / diesel engine to keep it in top fuel efficiency condition.
2. Start and keep your engine running at the normal idling speed. Running more than the recommended “warm up” will affect your fuel burn.
3. When driving, always keep within the speed of 70 to 90 kph. Driving below or higher than this bracket will result in less kph traveled for the same amount of fuel.
4. Plan your trips ahead in order to maximize the load factor of your car.
5. Always be aware of alternate routes in your trip to avoid traffic hassles.
6. Always keep in mind when to shift to a higher gear. This will avoid stress on your engine.
7. Fill your tank early in the morning will result in your being able to load 3-6% more fuel than filling it at noon when the temperature is much higher.
8. Never overfill your tank. Always see to it to keep your fuel cap tight to prevent spillage or evaporation.
9. If you tune up the operation of your car at close to sea level, it will be less fuel efficient when you’ll get to a higher elevation and vice versa due to the difference in density altitude.
10. Always maintain gradual acceleration. This will save you as much as 1 kilometer to the liter compared with rapid acceleration.
11. Minimize your load. Unnecessary weight in your car will add up to as much as 10% in your car’s fuel consumption.
Practice these basics and you’re off to a safe and smooth ride.
Buckle Up.

by: Jovir Amatong

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