Eco-Safe Driving

What is Eco-Safe Driving?

Eco-safe driving is a recognised and proven style of driving. It contributes to improved road safety by lowering accident rates while reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, eco-safe drivers can save up to 25 per cent on fuel consumption. Not only does eco-safe driving offer some environmental protection it also reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and therefore maintenance and garage repair costs. Eco-safe driving encourages a more relaxed and less stressful atmosphere in your car, benefitting both drivers and passengers.

Eco safe driving has two main aims, to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions — saving fuel — and to improve road safety.

The principles are simple and include looking ahead and anticipating more, as well as avoiding stopping unnecessarily.

If you're sitting a driving test, you’ll also be assessed on your ability to drive 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.

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 candidates at the end of their driving test or can be downloaded by following this link, DSA Guide to Eco Safe Driving, (this link opens in a new browser window).