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Old 23rd December 2013, 17:08   #16
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

First of all - the description of your driving scares the hell out of me. No offense, but concern for fuel efficiency or concern for your beloved automobile, whichever has made you less reckless, I'm happy and congratulations on your evolution into a sensible driver.

IMO, safe driving and fuel efficient driving have/should have nothing in common. Fuel efficiency if at all, should be a by product of safe driving and not vice versa as you have tried to put it. One can drive perfectly safe and still be terribly fuel inefficient.

As an example, whenever climbing into one of those multi level car parks, I insist on being on 1st gear no matter how steep the climb how many cars are behind or ahead of me. Ditto when climbing down. Many co passengers (read fuel efficient drivers) try to remind to to shift, but I wont. Needless to mention, this is probably a fuel inefficient thing to do. I do not know whether this practice really improves safety, but it sure does make me feel more comfortable. Similarly, I always run the engine at a slightly higher rpm on say 3rd gear than lug it on 4th.

In short, as so many others have stated, fuel efficient driving is not necessarily safe. So if you're ever in a position where you have to choose between the two, please choose safety so everybody remains in proper shape to see the fuel efficient driving bear fruit

A ~3L V6 petrol to a 1.5L I4 diesel? That's quite a downgrade... But good luck!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 17:10   #17
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

My two cents for an ever relaxed drive .....

1)always assess the average speed on a road and maintain (might vary with road width, traffic density, time , road condition etc..) that.....will be much easier to go with the flow and easy on your nerves as you are not pushing around.

2) Try for a smoother drive with minimised breaking (doesn't mean no breaking) than overly safety oriented or mileage oriented drive. (you will probably get both as a byproduct).

3) Be aware of your mood......sometimes we maybe in a mood to rip (traffic permitting) and sometimes laid back. This will help in a more harmonious and attentive driving.
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Old 24th December 2013, 03:07   #18
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Exclamation Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Shyam View Post
I have to somehow make sure that I drive safely and was still not able to do it, this made me think of focusing on some other aspect of driving. So, I started to race with the mileage instead of the cars on the road. That is- I started trying to beat the mileage that I got from last tankful to tankful.
If you are being too aggressive on just one aspect of driving i.e better FE, then you may not be driving safely at that point.

On the highway I see different types of FE oriented drivers.
The truck drivers - most will have speed governors. They can't go fast, they wont change lane, they won't brake, their goal is FE
The intercity bus drivers (govt) - They can go fast but they won't, they can brake any moment, they can change lane any moment and their goal is FE,
The intercity bus drivers (pvt) - they drive the likes of volvos. They go fast, they change lanes zig zag zoom, they won't brake, they have the most scariest of horns and their goal is FE.
Each of this type of driver is rewarded by their employers for higher FE, not how safe they drive.

If I am bullied by these drivers they always win. I don't race them, I can't manage a better fuel efficiency than them. They are the VIP's on the road. I give them way. That is the only way I could feel a little bit safer.

After a few minutes though, I find them done and dusted with their race for FE and are calmly cruising. I breeze past them then and that is my moment of satisfaction.
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Old 24th December 2013, 09:29   #19
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

When i had just bought the Swift Vdi, the FE bug had captured my mind, a friend told me about the pulse and glide method in which you attain a good momentum (pulse) and then put the car in neutral to let it glide as far as possible with the momentum. I remember I avoided breaking even on curves. It was particularly scary while taking a curve to come on a big road from a small road. Thankfully, I have mended my ways now. Now I check my FE on and off to be sure that my jeep is in good shape.
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Old 24th December 2013, 13:28   #20
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Remembered one funny incident .

One friend of mine was a very safe driver in the beginning when he had bought a new car and recently upgraded his license to drive LMV.

He would not exceed above 40 kmph wherever he drove, and he was caught by the patrol on the expressway for driving at a low speed and had to cough up a few bucks.

After too many people on the highway cursing him for blocking the road by driving at a slow speed he had to change his driving habit.

Mod Note : Post Edited. Smiley usage is restricted to two per post on Team-BHP. Please do NOT use more than 2 smileys in a post.

Last edited by bblost : 24th December 2013 at 14:43.
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Old 24th December 2013, 16:33   #21
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

I drive 56kms everyday in Bangalore, from one corner to another right through the center. My fellow Bangloreans will know what that entails !
Initially I was an enthusiast driver, flooring the pedal whenever I saw an open stretch. As office moved further away from home every few years, and with traffic increasing exponentially, I was tamed by the traffic to be patient and to drive slow. To top it tall, its a petrol car and you know the feeling which comes with every hike in fuel price !

The only thing which kept me motivated in this scenario was getting the max efficiency out of my car. I pretty much follow all the tips for saving fule mentioned by fellow T-Bhpians. I dont know if I can be proud of getting a mileage of 15 kmpl with AC in peak hr traffic in an i10. On highways its between 19-22 kmpl.

Coming to hemet's point,
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellmet View Post
But, is it also possible that it's equally distracting for the driver to constantly check his FE, and hence probably negates any safety added by it?
Well, my car doesnt have the tachometer and I just rely on my senses. Occasionally I do check if speed is above 45 to engage the 5th gear, otherwise driving in economy mode pretty much happens on its own.
I switch myself to economy mode whenever I want
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Old 25th December 2013, 12:42   #22
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Shyam View Post
That is why I feel that this continuous mileage readout is more of a safety feature than anything else! I trust that all of you will surely agree! Furthermore, the side effect of this is less wear and tear due to smooth driving style.

I agree, fuel-efficient drivers may find themselves automatically driving safe due to the constant fuel efficiency read-out. The satisfaction of spirited driving on an empty highway is quickly killed upon looking at the low figure on the MID.

As a teenager myself, I'd prefer to ignore the MID altogether. If it still brings up pangs of guilt, I'd probably change the MID to replace the FE figure with some other readout
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Old 25th December 2013, 15:33   #23
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhiranjan View Post
Well, my car doesnt have the tachometer and I just rely on my senses. Occasionally I do check if speed is above 45 to engage the 5th gear
Having driven MT vehicles very briefly, I rely on the tach to shift gears and I try to follow the table Maruti provides in their owner's manual unless I'm overtaking other vehicles (actual gear shifts have to be a little sooner than mentioned in the owner's manual because it assumes that the air conditioning would be switched off, probably because it was tested in Northern India during winter). It's pretty fuel efficient because that's the way the manufacturers intended to have the vehicle driven. However, when changing lanes, the only way to do it comfortably in Indian traffic is to floor the pedal when the traffic light turns green.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonXRi94 View Post
I agree, fuel-efficient drivers may find themselves automatically driving safe due to the constant fuel efficiency read-out. The satisfaction of spirited driving on an empty highway is quickly killed upon looking at the low figure on the MID.
With the way we have NH22 (old NH7) now, spirited driving generally means going at 140kmph+; when the road was new, the Hyderabad to Kamareddy stretch was pretty good. It's still pretty decent, but not suitable for high speeds now. I think the road after Kamareddy is new (just over a year old) but I haven't been to it since they finished construction.
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Old 25th December 2013, 22:45   #24
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

I think it is like this

Safe driving is fuel efficient
But fuel efficient driving by looking at MID cannot be safe

Looking at the MID and driving can be disasterous.
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Old 26th December 2013, 17:05   #25
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

I have never looked at the FE in terms of safe driving. I do look at the MID displaying the avg FE regularly, but that doesnt affect my driving style as I believe being in your comfort zone is always the more safer option than to constantly keep trying to change your driving style. I am a sedate driver and usually dont react to anyone or anything on the road, but there are times when you are forced to react and I dont want to be caught looking at the MID. Just my 2cents.
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Old 26th December 2013, 20:12   #26
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

About 8 months back, I started using FuelLog app to track the fuel expenses. It shows various statistics including mileage. So even though my Chevy Beat doesn't show the mileage, I started getting the mileage figure every time I refueled.

Unknowingly, I started trying to better my mileage and it actually improved from approx. 18 Kmpl to 20 Kmpl over these 8 months. Again unknowingly, I started driving safer - at lower speeds (max 80-90 Kmph) and with lesser ups and downs. This was achieved mostly at 2000 rpm. The best advantage I have seen is the relaxed body - I don't tire as much as I used to for same distance earlier.

On a long drive, however 80-90 Kmph becomes a blocker, so on longer trips I go upto 110-120 Kmph wherever roads allows. Have you faced this"sense of being blocked" on long drives while driving slower?

On another point, at times I become so relaxed driving at same speed on NOIDA/Greater NOIDA/Yamuna expressway, that I start feeling sleepy. Have you also faced this? Isn't it contrary to fuel efficient driving being safe?
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Old 26th December 2013, 21:16   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satishchugh View Post
About 8 months back, I started using FuelLog app to track the fuel expenses. It shows various statistics including mileage. So even though my Chevy Beat doesn't show the mileage, I started getting the mileage figure every time I refueled. Unknowingly, I started trying to better my mileage and it actually improved from approx. 18 Kmpl to 20 Kmpl over these 8 months. Again unknowingly, I started driving safer - at lower speeds (max 80-90 Kmph) and with lesser ups and downs. This was achieved mostly at 2000 rpm. The best advantage I have seen is the relaxed body - I don't tire as much as I used to for same distance earlier. On a long drive, however 80-90 Kmph becomes a blocker, so on longer trips I go upto 110-120 Kmph wherever roads allows. Have you faced this"sense of being blocked" on long drives while driving slower? On another point, at times I become so relaxed driving at same speed on NOIDA/Greater NOIDA/Yamuna expressway, that I start feeling sleepy. Have you also faced this? Isn't it contrary to fuel efficient driving being safe?
Satishchug, In my opinion driving steady at a speed in relation to traffic movement is safe driving. I also believe that not driving steady is a form of rash driving.

While driving rashly - as per my definition above - is neither safe nor fuel efficient, driving steady is necessarily fuel efficient but not safe enough. The reason is we start taking things for granted, easy, over confident and start feeling like " cruise mode" driving. If our mindset gets into "cruise mode", we are no longer alert and leads to drowsiness.

Steady and alert driving = fuel efficient + safe driving. Do you agree?
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Old 26th December 2013, 22:29   #28
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

A couple of experiences that made me thankful that I wasn't bitten by the FE bug.

A good friend of mine, after numerous calculations and recalculations and some more calculations, bought a Pulsar 150. He was very obsessed with the FE; quick up-shifting, braking less, minimal throttle use, switching off the bike at the slightest hint of a descent etc,. characterized his riding style. Once while we our on our way to college, a buffalo decided that it's fortune lay on the opposite side of the road. My friend noticed the sauntering buffalo and although he had ample time and space to stop the bike, he coasted all the way and let the buffalo do the stopping! I was totally shocked and asked him the reason for not applying the brakes. Believe it or not, this is the answer I got! "XYZ told me that mileage will drop if I apply the brakes suddenly, so as I was at a very low speed I thought my bike will roll to a halt!"

The second scene involves another friend of mine and his beloved Palio.
This friend of mine was shocked when he was told that the clutch on his car had failed and needed replacement. His perplexity arose as the odo on his car showed a ridiculously low reading. A little investigation into the cause for the premature failure revealed that the culprit was his dad who, in his quest for a good FE, used to drive the car at very sedate 20-30kmph speed...in fifth gear!

I think I'm a safe driver. I honk when required, switch on the indicators when I intend to change lanes, maintain a safe distance, never over-take on blind corners etc,. I let the road conditions, my car and my head dictate the safety measures, not a fuel gauge!
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Old 26th December 2013, 23:46   #29
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

I just drove back from masinagudi to chennai. At many places, I had to drive through villages and I was doing around 80 outside villages, and just under 50 (and even slower) inside the villages. Seems contrary to the advice in this thread, but IMHO it was safe and fast. I was keeping the appropriate speed for each place - but not a smoother drive (which would mean either taking longer, or being unsafe).

I echo SST's and schakravarthy's thoughts in this matter.
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Old 27th December 2013, 00:11   #30
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Well, of late I have started driving less aggressively. When earlier I would accelerate to 80kmph and start honking at the vehicle in front, I am now more sedate in accelerating and avoid honking.

I don't know if the fuel economy has increased, but my anxiety has surely reduced.
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