Thursday, 29 August 2013

Drive Without Your Brakes

WARNING: You may become a less stressed driver and use marginally less petrol

When I was a young driver, I tended to get pretty annoyed with cars that went extra slowly, even when the robot up ahead of me was red or the traffic ahead of me wasn't moving at all. I may or may not have sworn a few times at said drivers of these slow cars...

As the years passed, I have mellowed and become wiser. And I've been educated by my boyfriend on the most efficient and least stressful way of driving. In a nutshell it boils down to this one simple tip: 

"Try to drive without using your brakes."

There are many reasons for this. Firstly, if you don't use your brakes, you're less likely to wear out the brake pads on your car which means you'll replace them less often which means your car will cost you less in the long run.

Secondly, if you accelerate unnecessarily you use up petrol to gain speed which you then immediately waste as soon as you brake to bring you car to a stop. If you see a line of cars ahead of you, a red robot, a corner or anything else which may cause you to need to brake, take you foot off the accelerator rather than putting your foot flat and use your gears to help bring your car to a halt or slow it down. 

I used to be one of those drivers that accelerated up to a red robot to get in front of other cars. This increased my stress levels. So I decided to change my mindset - there is nothing that you can do about the red robot, line of cars etc, so coast up to the stoppage (and avoid using your brakes). Maybe by the time you get to the cause of the stop, the situation will have changed and you will be able to now put your foot back on the accelerator to keep moving. I do this now and I'm much less stressed when driving around these days (and I secretly laugh when I see stressed out people wasting their petrol, accelerating ahead of me towards a red robot or long line of cars).

1000 km odometer

When going on long trips try to drive at a constant speed in conjunction with trying not to use your brakes - speeding up and slowing down uses up more petrol than driving at a constant speed. But also keep in mind that you will use up more petrol driving at 120 km an hour than you do driving at 100 km an hour. The best trade off between speed and petrol efficiency is to drive between 80 - 100 km per hour.

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  1. Driving without using your brakes is only the first step to saving Mandelas and penguins.

  2. Is that your tripometer? If it is, I think we have very, very similar model cars.

  3. It is :) Ford Fiesta 1.4 Ambiente :)