How Can Drivers Help The Environment? 12 Eco Safe Driver Tips

Eco safe driving tips

Adopting eco-safe driving techniques is not only good for the environment but will also save you money in the process, as you’ll lower your fuel consumption and volume of Co2 emissions. 

It’s important to highlight that around 80% to 90% of an automobile’s environmental impact is caused by fuel consumption and the highly toxic air polluting emissions that vehicles exert, which climate scientists argue is a key factor in heightening global warming

Some of the key areas of focus are on smoothly changing gears, accelerating and braking at appropriate speeds, optimal tyre pressure and more – we’ll go into more detail of the many eco-safe driving tips in the article below. 

12 Key Eco Safe Ways Drivers Can Help The Environment

Thankfully, driving instructors are now required to teach and test new drivers on ways to help the environment when driving – so whether you’re practicing for a test, of simply looking for some eco-safe driving tips, this should be a helpful guide for you.

Eco safe driving tips to help the environment
Eco safe driving tips to help the environment

Walk or cycle where possible

If you’re only planning a short distance journey, consider walking or cycling there as this will lower your impact on the environment 100% compared to driving.

Choose an electric vehicle

Instead of driving a diesel or petrol powered vehicle, which are high polluters of the air we breathe, help the environment by driving a vehicle that’s powered by electricity.

This will keep harmful emissions to a minimum and is a step in the right direction, especially given that governments around the world are aiming for ambitious net zero policies – the UK government has already set out a plan to only sell zero emission vehicles by 2035.

Don’t drive erratically

It’s more environmentally friendly to drive steadily, with smooth acceleration and braking, rather than aggressive and fast paced maneuvers.

Take the time to observe the road ahead so you’re able to slow down in a timely manner, leaving enough distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

Practice driving at a safe speed
Drive at a safe and steady speed

Switch off the engine instead of idling

When your car is stationary for long periods of time, leaving the engine running is bad for the environment as it’s releasing unnecessary Co2 emissions – and in the UK you can be fined £20 for idling under the Road Traffic Regulations legislation.

Some instances where you could switch off your engine instead of idling are; picking up children from school, sitting in heavy gridlocked traffic, waiting for someone in a shop or supermarket, or if you’re in a long que at a red light, etc.

Regular servicing and MOTs are essential

Ensuring your car is well maintained will help you (or the mechanic) spot anything that is possibly hindering its performance, fuel consumption and exertion of Co2 emissions.

Keep your tyres pumped up

When your tyres are flat and not at their optimal tyre pressure, it creates more friction between the tyres and the road, dragging the car to drive slower. Meaning you will be driving faster than needed and increasing your fuel consumption and air pollution.

Eco safe flat car tyres
Keep car tyres pumped up and avoid flat tyres

Reduce your average speed when driving

The faster you go, the more fuel you consume which increases the Co2 impact on the environment.

Leave the car windows up

When the wind comes through the windows it slows the car down as the aerodynamics are negatively affected. This means you have to unnecessarily increase your speed, thus increasing toxic fumes from your vehicle.

Consider driving a rental vehicle

If you drive less than 5,000 miles a year it might be a cheaper and a more eco-friendly option to rent a car on the journeys you do need to take, rather than buying a one.

The upkeep of an owned cars maintenance is expensive, and if you drive it infrequently certain parts of the car tend to deteriorate faster than if you drove it regularly e.g. the battery goes flat, plastic and rubber parts become brittle, the oil and petrol can stagnate which impacts the engine, etc.

Avoid carrying excess weight

Lighter vehicles require less fuel, so take stock of what’s in your vehicle and remove any unnecessary heavy items. Empty the boot, take off the roof rack if not in use, and put the tools in the shed if they are filling up the car.

Car with heavy load on roof
Don’t be like this guy, remove heavy items from the car

Practice changing gears and finding the biting point

If you’re driving a manual transmission vehicle it’s worthwhile improving your gear changing skills as this will make your journeys more emission efficient.

Turn off your electronics

Devices that are powered by electricity like air conditioning, heated seats, charging your phone, etc drain the electrical load and battery of the vehicle.

Air con specifically can use up to 10% of fuel if left on for prolonged periods, which is not an efficient use of fuel consumption. If possible, only use electrical devices when it’s essential.


Read More: 6 Key Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips to Follow

Making eco-friendly changes to the way you drive is hugely helpful to lowering your impact on the environment. We hope that this guide has showcased some easy tips you can instantly take forward on your next driving trip.  

Eco-safe driving will also save you money, which should give you an extra incentive to focus on how you drive. Just think, after a long eco-safe car journey, you’ll have some extra cash for a hard earned drink or bite to eat. 

If you have, or know of, any more eco-safe driving tips that we haven’t covered – or if you know of an environmentally friendly product that you would like us to feature on the site, email us at: hello@ecofriendlychange.com

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