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How to minimise fuel costs without endangering yourself

Motorists are urged to take care of their vehicles while trying to save on fuel because prices will soon increase.

Drivers in SA are clenching their teeth and gripping their wallets in anticipation of another petrol price increase.

According to the Central Energy Fund’s (CEF) most recent data, released at the end of the third week of April, fuel prices are expected to increase by about 35c a litre on May 1.

Depending on how you go about it, reducing fuel use could raise or lower the risk of driver safety. We must understand how to reduce consumption without compromising safety.

Here are some strategies for reducing consumption that may raise or lower the danger to the safety of drivers and passengers:

Saving fuel the wrong way – increasing risk

Lower tyre pressure:

While some drivers do this to increase their mileage, doing so also impairs vehicle handling and raises the possibility of blowouts, particularly when driving at high speeds.

Coasting:

When driving downhill, you might have heard of shifting into neutral or even shutting off the engine entirely. While there might be a minor reduction in consumption, this also lessens the driver’s ability to accelerate rapidly in an emergency.

Neglecting maintenance:

Drivers might neglect their cars’ routine maintenance to save money. In addition to increasing fuel consumption, this could put the driver at risk of a mechanical breakdown.

Drafting:

Some drivers might closely follow larger cars to improve fuel economy by lowering air resistance.

However, because it impairs visibility and reaction time and increases the likelihood of rear-end collisions should the leading vehicle brake unexpectedly, this behaviour greatly raises the danger of accidents.

Saving fuel the right way – decreasing risk

Use your cruise control: You can significantly reduce fuel consumption while keeping a steady speed on lengthy highway trips. It also ensures you drive at the speed limit, which lowers the risk of an accident and reduces wear and tear on your car.

Avoid accelerating suddenly:

Fuel use and acceleration are directly related. Instead, concentrate on progressively increasing your speed while easing out of the way of stop signs and traffic lights.

Steer clear of high revs to spare your engine undue strain. If your car has an automatic transmission, you can get earlier gear shifts by gently pressing the accelerator.

Proper loading:

Your car will probably use more petrol the heavier it is. To help preserve stability and control, ensure you load your vehicle correctly and do not overload it.

Steer clear of quick trips:

Less than 2km excursions consume more fuel than longer ones, especially if the engine is cold. If you want to save money on petrol, try not to make needless excursions.

Avoid traffic:

There is truth in driving in traffic uses more fuel. However, this isn’t always feasible. Being able to work from home or have more flexibility at work could pay off if it means you avoid driving in rush hour.

Reducing risk means avoiding unnecessary expenses and, frequently, unwanted tragedies. When trying to reduce fuel consumption and boost efficiency, make sure you do it in a way that maintains the safety of other drivers and yourself.

Do not put yourself in needless danger to save a few bucks on petrol.

• Information from Momentum Insure

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