Vehicles on the road and the way they are driven have a huge impact on the environment. It is becoming increasingly important to support drivers, new and existing, with adopting eco-friendly driving habits and choices, to help them sustain a more eco-friendly driving career. Many learners, when they pass, may be taking to the roads, for work and play, for the next fifty years or more, and the pressure is on to help future proof the planet. After flights, cars typically had the highest carbon footprints per kilometre in the UK. The average petrol car produced the equivalent of 164 grams of CO₂e per km in 2023, while diesel cars averaged roughly 170 grams of CO₂e per km. In 2021, cars made up over 75% of the vehicles on the road in the UK.
Driving schools play a crucial role in instilling these practices from the very beginning of a learner’s journey. Instructors serve as role models for their students. By consistently practising and promoting eco-friendly driving habits, instructors set a positive example that young drivers are likely to emulate. Young drivers need to understand the direct impact of their driving habits on the environment. Instructors can educate them about the importance of reducing carbon emissions, conserving fuel, and minimising their ecological footprint.
1. Smooth Driving Techniques
Instruct learners to adopt smooth and gentle driving techniques, avoiding rapid acceleration and abrupt braking. Smooth driving not only conserves fuel but also enhances safety and reduces wear and tear on the vehicle.
2. Optimal Speed and Gearing
Emphasise the importance of driving at optimal speeds and using the correct gears. Maintaining a consistent speed and selecting the right gear helps improve fuel efficiency and minimises emissions.
3. Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Encourage learners to schedule regular maintenance checks for their vehicles. Well-maintained vehicles operate more efficiently, consume less fuel, and produce fewer emissions. This includes driving on correctly inflated tyres. As partners of TyreSafe, we can provide a range of materials to help support drivers in understanding the importance of correct inflation on fuel consumption, and wear and tear on the vehicle.
4. Minimise Idling Time
Teach learners the importance of turning off the engine when stationary for an extended period. Idling consumes unnecessary fuel and contributes to air pollution, hitting them in the pocket and the environment at the same time.
Habits formed during the early stages of driving often persist throughout a person’s lifetime. By instilling sustainable practices from the beginning, driving instructors contribute to the development of responsible and environmentally conscious drivers. Sustainable driving practices, such as smooth acceleration and deceleration, optimal speed, and proper maintenance, lead to increased fuel efficiency. Instructors can highlight the economic benefits of fuel conservation, making young drivers more conscious of their driving choices.
By incorporating these eco-friendly driving habits into driving lessons, instructors and learners can contribute to a sustainable future. The role of driving schools extends beyond teaching the rules of the road; it involves shaping responsible and environmentally conscious drivers who will play a vital role in creating greener and cleaner driving habits.