Driving in Sevenoaks and Tonbridge

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ECO-Safe Quiz — Answers

  1. You are driving towards a red light. Which of the following is the most ecological way to drive?

A) brake gently and go down through the gears

B) stay on the gas and keep speed up in case the lights go green

C) come off the gas and brake gently, only putting the clutch down if the engine starts to stall.

Answer: C Very little fuel is used when you use engine braking. If you change down, fuel is needed to keep the engine going during the gear change and to speed the engine up. Cars have changed, the brakes used not to be able to stop the car repeatedly and engines were much less flexible at low speeds. Engine braking saves brake wear, too.

  1. Which of the options in 1 above is the safest?

Answer: C You keep your hands on the wheel and can concentrate on what the other road users are doing.

  1. The lights go green and you move off, the road ahead is clear and it’s a 30 mph speed limit. Which of the following is the most ecological way to drive?

A) use plenty of gas and take the engine up to the rev limiter before changing up a gear

B) use moderate gas so that the car accelerates briskly, change up when it is going fast enough to accelerate in the next gear

C) use minimum gas so the car accelerates gently, change up as soon as the engine can take a higher gear without stalling.

Answer: B Whichever way you do it, the energy needed to accelerate the car up to 30 mph is the same. The fuel needed to do the accelerating will be least if the engine is running efficiently—not too fast, not too slow. The big factor in fuel consumption at lower speeds is how many times the engine turns in covering the distance. Hold on to low gear too long and you’re spinning the engine lots of extra times (and at high engine speeds, burning loads of extra fuel to do it). Accelerate too gently and change gear too soon and you won’t be able to accelerate in the new gear, so you’ll travel a greater distance in low gear, also wasting fuel.

  1. The lights go green and you move off, the road ahead is clear and it’s a 40 mph speed limit. Which of the following is the most ecological way to drive?

A) use plenty of gas and take the engine up to the rev limiter before changing up a gear

B) use moderate gas so that the car accelerates briskly, change up directly from 2nd to 4th

C) use minimum gas so the car accelerates gently, change up as soon as the engine can take a higher gear without stalling.

Answer: B Basically the same considerations apply as in Question 3. We want to take our target gear as soon as possible. For 40 mph that’s 4th, so we just want to hold on to 2nd for a little longer, and block change to 4th in order to spin the engine the minimum number of times. Cutting out a gear change saves a bit more fuel because all the fuel used while changing gear is just turning the engine while the car loses speed.

  1. You are preparing to take a car full of people on holiday. Which of the following are essential for ecological driving?

A) check the tyre tread and sidewalls, pump cold tyres up to the recommended pressures for a full load

B) get a route plan, check it at the Highways Agency website in case there are roadworks or accidents, allow for a break every 2 hours

C) get plenty of sleep and make sure you have some drink and food in the car in case of delays.

Answer: A B and C : A The right tyre pressures will make a big difference to your fuel consumption. B Planning your route round roadworks and delays will save lots of time and fuel, the Highways Agency website will forecast future traffic conditions as well as showing the effects of current incidents, so have a quick look just as you are about to set out as well as when you are planning. C Any accident has terrible effects on lots of people, the ecological effects are very bad, too. If you’re tired, thirsty or distracted, you’re much more likely to make a mistake.

  1. Which of the options in 5 above are essential for safety?

Answer: A B and C : A Those tyres are critical to your safety, both in normal driving and in an emergency. B Lots of accidents happen in queues of traffic, so avoid them. Driving is hard work, you need breaks to keep your concentration. C Any accident has terrible effects on lots of people. If you’re tired, thirsty or distracted, you’re much more likely to make a mistake.

  1. You are parking on the driveway in front of your house. Which of the following is the most ecological way to drive?

A) go straight in while the engine is hot

B) park in the road and wait for the engine to cool before moving the car onto the driveway

C) go just past the driveway and reverse in.

Answer: C Manoeuvring with a cold engine uses a lot more fuel. If you reverse in with a hot engine, you’ll drive straight out and get swiftly on your way next time you leave the house, when the engine will probably be cold.

  1. Which of the options in 7 above is the safest?

Answer: C Reversing in and driving out mean that you only use a part of the width of the road. That’s much safer, especially in a busy road. Also you can see pedestrians and other vehicles before you’ve hit them, which is always a plus point.

  1. Cruising on the motorway behind another vehicle, which of these is the safest following distance?

A) 2 seconds (1 metre for every mile an hour)

B) 2 car lengths (so you can just see their rear tyres)

C) 2 metres (so you can be pulled in their slipstream).

Answer: A With a 2 second gap, you’ve got time to notice the car in front changing speed, even if you’re checking the mirrors when they hit the brakes. Did you know that it takes 0.3 seconds for the brake lights of the car in front to reach full brightness?

  1. Which of the options in 9 above is the best for economy?

Answer: A When the speed of the car in front fluctuates you’ll be able to ease off the gas to slow down a little. If you’re too close, you’ll have to use the brakes, which is simply throwing away fuel you’ve already burned.

Surprised? You’ll have noticed that the ECO answer is also the Safe answer and gives the quickest journey. It’s not always the case, but you always have to find an approach to driving that’s both ECO and Safe.

ECOlogical and ECOnomical: Help save the planet, save money, cut journey times, travel with less stress. Which of these don’t you want?

You don’t have to choose, drive ECO-Safe and you’ll get all these benefits at once. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not, but cars have changed, and you may need to change your driving to make the savings.

If you didn’t get 10/10, contact E.C.P.C. to find out more about ECO-Safe driving. We’ll tailor lessons to suit you, in your own car if you’d like. At the same time, we’ll refresh your safety and observation skills—planning ahead is the key to making your journey safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

ECO-Safe Driving