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Eco Safe Driving

How to be an eco-safe driver.

Be an ‘eco-safe’ driver or rider and contribute to road safety as well as reducing your fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. Making changes to your driving or riding style will also save you money. From September 2008, anyone sitting a driving test will also get feedback on their eco-safe driving manner.

Eco-safe driving and riding as part of the practical driving test

From 10th September 2008, if you're sitting a driving test, you’ll also be assessed on your ability to drive or ride in a way that shows eco-safe driving techniques.

This assessment is not part of the existing assessment criteria for the practical test and you will not fail your test because you don’t demonstrate eco-safe driving techniques.

The driving examiner will assess control and planning, and at the end of the test will give you feedback, as guidance, on how efficiently you’re driving.

What does Eco driving consist of

Control

Always try to use the vehicle controls as smoothly as possible, with particular attention to:

  • starting and moving away
  • accelerating
  • using gears
  • driving at an appropriate speed

This reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and will help in reducing CO2.

Planning

Reduce harmful emissions by anticipating road traffic conditions and acting in good time, rather than reacting to them at the last moment, especially:

  • showing hazard awareness and planning
  • making use of engine braking
  • stopping the engine when appropriate

Tips for ‘eco-safe’ driving and riding

Follow these tips as a guide to safe driving or riding for economy:

  • check your tyres regularly and keep at recommended pressure
  • don’t carry unnecessary weight
  • remove roof-rack or luggage boxes when not needed to reduce air resistance
  • don’t exceed speed limits, accelerate gently
  • consider using cruise control where it would be appropriate
  • turn off your engine if you’re likely to have a prolonged wait
  • use air conditioning only when you need to
  • plan your route to avoid known congestion points
  • try to travel during off-peak times

Further information on eco-safe driving and riding is available in the leaflet ‘Eco-Safe Driving - a guide to safe driving/riding for economy’. This is handed to a pupil at the test centre when they have passed their test.

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