Getting stuck in traffic is an everyday reality for many motorists, but not everyone knows how to drive economically in traffic. High revving and sharp braking will waste the fuel in your tank.
Here are some tips for driving efficiently in traffic:
Anticipate traffic flow
This takes some practice but soon enough it becomes second nature. Read the road as far ahead as possible and anticipate the flow of traffic. Then you can act instead of react and use the momentum of the vehicle to take you further.
Making use of momentum means using the built-up kinetic energy of the car as efficiently as possible. The overall goal is letting the car roll and driving at a steady speed whenever possible instead of braking and subsequently accelerating.
Maintain a steady speed at low RPM
Smooth driving with steady speed saves a lot of fuel compared to the same average speed, but with sequences of acceleration and braking. Unnecessary speed peaks and abrupt braking do not only waste fuel, but also raise the stress level while driving and cause additional safety risks. Using cruise control, if available, can be advisable to maintain a smooth ride.
High speed driving and driving with high RPM leads to drastically increased fuel consumption. The time it takes to complete a journey is mainly dominated by external factors such as traffic density, traffic lights, etc.
Shift up early
Driving with high or even medium engine RPM consumes more fuel than driving at low RPM at whatever speed. Therefore, early shifting is highly recommended. (Vehicle specifics and the given traffic situation have to be taken in account.)
Based on the rough guidance for steady speed driving (on the flat, not uphill) the optimum gear shifting for each car has to be identified individually. Take into account that engine torque curves of diesel and petrol cars also differ strongly.
Check tyre pressures frequently
Keep tyres properly inflated as low tyre pressure is a safety risk and wastes fuel. Check your pressure at least once a month or before driving at high speeds. For correct tyre pressure check the owner’s manual. (or the sticker on the side panel where the drivers door shuts.)
Please Note: "Safety First" guidelines should always take priority!