Four Driver New Year's Resolutions in 2020
No matter how many years go by, we all seem to make the same promises to ourselves. This will be the year we reinvent ourselves: we’ll join a gym, clean the house every day, drink less, cook from scratch every night, remember your Mother-in-law’s birthday - it never happens. But with the dawn of the new decade; this one just might be different.
If you’ve already failed on this year’s resolutions, let’s turn the tables with four driving changes that will change the way we use the road in 2020.
Make your vehicle a priority
You promised to make an effort with your Mother in Law. You didn’t. So, invest all of that energy in your vehicle instead.
Vans, trucks and everything in between need care and attention to remain road worthy. Ensure that you deal with any potential vehicle issues as soon as you can. Keep your motor as safe as possible.
- Has it been a while since you topped up your oil? Grab some from the garage.
- Not checked your tyres recently? No more excuses – check them.
- Is the inside in need of not just a clean but a fumigation? Start tidying it out every time you use it; clean out all the junk, minimalism is very hip. It’s safer to not have lose object flying round the cab too.
Your vehicles are probably your largest financial investment after your home, so look after. It’s a no brainer, really!
Driving economically sounds both boring and eco-friendly - neither of which are high up on most people’s agenda. In reality, driving economically isn’t just common sense; it can also save you a fortune.
So how do you drive more economically? Simple - don’t make your van or HGV work as hard. By following three easy steps you will be getting more miles to the gallon.
Ease up on the accelerator
Fuel consumption is directly related to how hard the engine is working. So the lower your revs, the less fuel is being consumed.
By racing away into traffic and then having to slam on the brakes to come to a stop is one of the easiest ways to lose fuel. If you are going to make one change to increase your economy - make your acceleration and breaking smoother.
Not only will you save fuel; but it also makes your driving safer - increasing your reaction time and reducing the risk of losing control of the vehicle.
Lose traction, lose fuel
Aside from the engine, your tyres are perhaps your most important asset on your vehicle. Therefore, it’s vital that you take care of them properly - not only will they keep you safer, but properly cared for tyres will also make your driving more economical.
Always check your tyres are in good condition and drive sensibly, making sure that your tyres aren’t slipping - especially in wet weather.
Skip an occasional gear
Fun fact - it’s only a myth that you have to travel through all your gears. You don’t.
On a manual gearbox, sometimes skipping gears can be both safer and more economical. We don’t mean going from 1 - 5 straight away, but missing out the odd gear may save fuel rather than causing your car to dispense energy changing the gear only to climb again.
Keep your revs reasonably low and that way your engine isn’t overcompensating and burning fuel like the clappers. This technique is especially useful if heavy traffic or a change of lanes has caused you to dramatically change speed.
Be safer behind the wheel
You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway. We all have bad habits behind the wheel - a bit like walking away from the washing pile for the twentieth time.
Whatever your bad habit is, be it checking your phone, eating at the wheel, changing songs or speeding against red lights - 2020 is the year to cut it out.
1 in 6 drivers have been found to engage in distracting activity at the wheel, according to research. Such acts are responsible for over 3 out of 10 of fatalities on British roads, each year. Don’t make 2020 the year that you find yourself on either end of that statistic.
Stop the cycle and end your poor driving habits.
Keep your cool
Four out of five drivers have been on the receiving end of road rage. Yorkshire and Scotland produce the angriest drivers. 55% of female drivers compared to 47% of male drivers have revealed that they frequently lose their temper behind the wheel.
That’s a lot of anger behind one steering wheel.
Are you prone to road rage? It’s easy to say ‘stop being so angry’ but when there are people making terrible decisions on the road, it’s easy to get caught in the moment. Next time you find yourself face to face with an incident of road rage, consider these three things:
- Take the high road - If someone is driving badly or someone unnecessarily hurls abuse at you - ignore it. No good can come from engaging with road rage. As appealing as it may be to share your best hand gestures, don’t. All that will happen is the situation will be escalated - keep yourself and other road users safe.
- Give them space - There’s a reason that we remove ourselves from a situation when we’re angry. It gives us a chance to calm down. Being behind the wheel is no different. Let angry drivers have time to themselves. You’re not letting them win, you’re not losing the argument. You’re ensuring you get home in one piece.
- Report it - When you see someone driving dangerously or being excessively angry, report them. Even if you can’t remember the full license plate, report the incident to the police at your earliest opportunity. Consistently angry drivers can kill people. By reporting it you stop the cycle.
It’s time for an upgrade!
You’ve clung onto your old van for the best part of the decade even though each year that goes past you promised yourself it’s time for the scrapper. No more! 2020 is the official year of the new whip, as the kids are calling it… We don’t really get it either.
Begin your new year with a fresh start and see how many of our driving resolutions you can master in your new wheels!