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Old 27th December 2013, 00:46   #31
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Example : When driving for efficiency, people resist braking, whether for potholes or even curves. Couldn't this really be VERY dangerous?

I guess achieving high fuel efficiency is often a fantasy to go the farthest mile with fuel, simply for the heck of it. It's actually got little to do with safety, or even affordability.

I would consider these people are infact endangering their own and others lives by driving unnaturally. Also, they're are often a PITA as they don't change lanes and let you overtake, this could lead to road rage.

Just because in modern cars ~80kmph is often the most economical speed to drive, these people simply stick to that saying it's the right speed. They're often complaining that people going faster are maniacs, and people going slower are fools.

It's human tendency to optimize the use something so as to ensure it lasts longer. But whats needed is the right perspective.

If a car isn't slowing for potholes, its going to effect the suspension. If it doesn't slow down on curves, the driver is risking getting thrown off the road.

Some people take this obsessive compulsive craving for high fuel economy to the extent of not even honking/playing music, under the pretext of extra load on the alternator which will lead to reduction of fuel economy!

Guys, get a grip on it and be normal, fuel economy fanatics driving like zombies on the highway are really annoying and more often than not, WRONG.

No offense. Yours truly too was once among the 'These guys' mentioned above. Please don't get me wrong.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 27th December 2013 at 00:49.
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Old 27th December 2013, 10:35   #32
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Extreme of anything is bad. So while I try to better my mileage, its never at the cost of safety. Not braking to improve mileage - I wasn't even able yo comprehend this :-)

Another thing, if the whole traffic is moving at 100 and you are driving at 70 in rightmost lane, its a big risk. I believe one should drive within the speed RANGE of other vehicles in that lane.

Finally at best this "focus on mileage" is a proxy for safe and relaxed driving for me.

Last edited by satishchugh : 27th December 2013 at 10:52.
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Old 27th December 2013, 12:38   #33
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

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?
Satish, I think going at steady speed on a straight road is what makes us feeling sleepy. What I have experienced is, no matter whether you drive at 80 or 110/120 but if you are maintaining steady speed on a road with less curves, it may make you feel sleepy, especially if you are on long trip and already driven about 200 kms.

I have been driving since last 20 years & most of my trips are in range of 350-450 kms (one way) and many times I start my journey in the evening after coming back from work, I feel it more safer if I don't end up in driving at very steady speed and need to apply breaks in between.

So my take would be safety rather than mileage. I think I cannot afford to drive steady to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and hence Fuel-efficient driving does not always means safer driving.
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Old 27th December 2013, 13:23   #34
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I feel that the thread starter's definition of safety was that, people would be less inclined to overspeed and drive rashly, trying to maintain a higher fuel-efficiency figure.

However, as others on this thread have pointed out, there are other ways to increase fuel efficiency as well, i.e. not slowing down for curves and potholes. These are extreme methods and should not be practised, and I don't think the thread starter was talking of such methods in his write-up.

Its much better to have a lower FE figure, than having to shell out huge bushels of cash to repair a suspension gone kaput due to speeding over bumps and potholes.
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Old 27th December 2013, 23:56   #35
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

For me, driving in FE mode implies this:

Controlling the right foot as much as possible.
Accelarating only when the road ahead is clear enough.

However, I never do the following, even if FE be damned:
Coast in neutral.
Lug the engine in a high gear
Gaze at any FE related display to check if it is helping
Trying to maintain momentum even if traffic is dense.

Hence yes I can call it as safe driving

However the useless taxi guys who drive cabs have the worst habits to sqeeze out more miles. Their logic is simple, accelerate to some insane speed, avoid braking at any cost, unless their car is gonna get damaged if they wont stop. Thats it. They try to sqeeze in gaps, throw bikers out of their way and honk to glory. That may be FE driving, but NOT safe driving.
Hence it depends upon what is followed to achieve max FE.

I also find instantaneous FE displays quirky or useless. Rather an average FE meter is as useful as how useless the instantaneous one is. Come on, you cant make your moves looking at that meter. Most of the times, it varies with how much you floor the A pedal. So its better we keep a look on the road and have a light foot on the gas pedal rather than deciding by the meter. Whats the point in showing insane figures while coasting and single digit figures while accelarating? We cant coast all the while in order to maintain that high instantaneous figure. More of a fancy IMO.
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Old 31st December 2013, 20:18   #36
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
There are two ways of looking at it. Fuel Efficient driving need not always be safe.

Consider this situation 1:
You are cruising at a really efficient speed.

You approach a small town.

You dont want to brake as you lose momentum and hence might need to change gears, and lose your efficiency. So, you try to zig-zag through obstacles (men, vehicles, goats, cows etc..), trying hard to maintain that efficient speed and throttle.

As a result you are traveling faster than is safer through that town. And you driving is really unsafe.

Consider Situation 2:
You are cruising at a really efficient speed.

A marginally slower 10+ wheeler truck in front of you.

To not loose momentum and hence efficiency, you decide to overtake it.

Still keeping efficiency in mind, you don't downshift or accelerate, and take your own sweet time overtaking the long 10+ wheeler.

Half way through you see a vehicle in the opposite.

You still maintain your speed, hence efficent driving, and push the oncoming vehicle off-the- road.

End up being unsafe.


Trust me, with ration pocket money in college, I've experimented this and much more..

Safe driving is something entriely different. You might need to compromise on many things to drive safe. Including your emotional outbursts (road rage)
Dear Sir,
I think with some common driving sense all this can be easily avoided!
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Old 1st January 2014, 03:20   #37
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Originally Posted by Capt. Shyam View Post
The reason to write today is a recent discovery that I have made which is the subject matter of this letter. Mileage Indicators are indeed a safety feature!

All this started when I had bought my first Maruti 800- 5 speed MPFI. I was a very fast and unsafe driver. I could never tolerate anyone trying to overtake me, and I liked to race with all the cars on the street, and would try to beat them, automatically, without being aware of it. I was constantly made aware of this by the passengers in the cars- holding on to their dear life! I knew that this was not right but was not able change my driving style. But after a few real near misses, I realized that 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. This made me a safer driver. Later, as I went on buying costlier cars, my driving style changed further. Earlier, I used to bully the autos (rikshas) and cabbies on the streets but when I bought the Accord V6, the game turned around and the autos started bullying me! Even a small scratch spoils the beauty of the car and the repairs become hugely costly!

I had a Hyundai Santro as the city car but I was too irritated by the poor quality and poorer mileage from that car- 9-10 KMPL in city. So recently, I bought the Honda Amaze diesel. It was primarily the city car but it quickly replaced the Accord as the highway car. As everyone knows, this car gives unbelievable mileage. And for a guy like me who used an Accord V6 earlier, this was a great surprise. You can never compare the highway mileage of the cars- 9-10 KMPL on Petrol to 25.4 KMPL on Diesel! Yes, that is the mileage that we got on our way back from Goa- Madgaon to Goregaon (Mumbai) in 24.6 liters!

But what made me even more surprised was the fact that I was driving the Amaze very carefully, not accelerating hard, coasting a lot, not braking hard, etc. All this was because the speedo display was set to show the mileage and any of the above kind of rash driving was sending the mileage figure down.
With the speedo display set to show mileage obtained, trying to extract high mileage is great fun, and you really feel very happy to see the 20+ mileage figures. But if you get an adrenalin rush to go faster, you try to curb it as soon as possible as this reduces the mileage very quickly. If the mileage display is showing 24.5 KMPL (it does very often, in an Amaze) and you accelerate fast, do some quick overtakes, or even just start going over 100 kmph, the mileage figure drops very rapidly to 21-22, and it takes a long time to bring it up back to 24+. So you try to avoid driving brashly and this makes you a safer driver!! 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 trust that you will strongly agree to this. Please do comment.
Capt. Shyam Patwardhan

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You do have a point. I too am in the same boat. My petrol Honda seems to have killed the racer in me. Although some healthy racing, redlining the engine, braking late is more fun than anything else in the world. I think if we have some sort of code of conduct for street racing, with mutual respect and safety topping the list, we could make the world a better place haha. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 1st January 2014, 20:29   #38
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

As per Mumbai police sources in the timesofindia news article a few days back, lot of accidents are caused by dumpers and tankers because they 'SWITCH OFF' their engine on ghats/down slopes :O
If this is true, nothing can be more moronic and maniacal than this mad chase for fuel economy. This is the result of blind chasing of fuel figures and dis regarding safety
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Old 2nd January 2014, 11:14   #39
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post

Example : When driving for efficiency, people resist braking, whether for potholes or even curves. Couldn't this really be VERY dangerous?
Guys, get a grip on it and be normal, fuel economy fanatics driving like zombies on the highway are really annoying and more often than not, WRONG.

No offense. Yours truly too was once among the 'These guys' mentioned above. Please don't get me wrong.
Don't you think this is a little over exaggerated view of things on the other side?

Someone who is looking to get the best FE doesn't want to NOT brake, but rather plans them well so he doesn't come to a screeching halt. If the road ahead is bad or pot holed - he will slow down earlier than others at max - not using the brakes is ridiculous.

You say you were in camp FE earlier, please tell me this is not from your personal experience.

Get a grip and be normal, so what do you suggest? How should one drive 'normally'?
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Old 2nd January 2014, 13:06   #40
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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Consider this situation 1:
You are cruising at a really efficient speed.

You approach a small town.
Rightly said.

I here drive in a hill station. With the conditions and sizes of roads, there is no way I can relate FE with safe driving.

I believe it all depends on the conditions one is driving in.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 01:16   #41
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Originally Posted by manjubp View Post
If one is over taking almost all similar type/powered vehicles as what he/she is driving, then the drive is faster and aggressive; time to slow down.

Other way around, if similar type/powered vehicles overtaking one's vehicle, then he/she is driving slow and slowing down the traffic; then one needs to speedup.

Simply put, be with the traffic.
, I recollect the same being instructed in Bimal's Maruti driving school.

I think the converse is true, i.e. safe driving = fuel efficiency, but as mentioned in this thread - one cant concentrate on only on FE.

Safety first, FE next, speed later.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 18:39   #42
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Driving for FE isn't something wrong but we know where we as drivers need to draw a line between speed and driving for efficiency. Most of our commute on weekdays is when we drive to work, I agree that driving with a heavy foot isn't always a great idea but just to extract the best possible FE I would not stretch my driving time by say 10 minutes over a normal drive. Okay I know I kind of sound confusing here but most of you must have gotten the idea by now.

As quite a few people on this thread have mentioned that this 5th gear/60 kmph syndrome results in increased times on your highway drives. There is a link to a thread on hypermiling on Shamindra da's post. Also every car has its optimal 5th/6th gear cruising which is not 60.

If you want to extract the maximum FE from a car, then why not get on the Noida-G Noida expressway or the Yamuna Expressway where you slot into 5th and cruise at 80. Some drivers might better ARAI figures but I might as well get bored. It is a good driving habits (a subject that has been thoroughly documented on this forum) and factoring in the traffic condition contribute more to a healthy FE than anything else. IMO.

And trying to match the ARAI mileage ratings of a car always does not help.

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Old 3rd January 2014, 18:45   #43
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

My perspective and experience happened when a rat bit a wire that sends signal to turbo in turn fuel supply to feed the engine.. This meant my turbo in the jetta was pretty much not working or very weak. This also meant i had to drive with a gentle foot and even if i tried pushing the signal was never sent. During that week my avg FE was atleast 2kmpl better than my normal run in the same route on an average.

Drive for fuel efficiency is definitely safer for i hardly pushed the car and was always driving sedately not by choice.

And i believe having a turbo switch will only make it a great mod to drive safe and sound inside city and throttle out when driving outside on open roads with more safer space.
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Old 23rd January 2014, 12:40   #44
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Default Re: Fuel-efficient driving = Safer driving

Dear All,
Most of you seem to miss the point! The point is the shift of focus that the FE Indicator causes and it smothers your racing instincts, making your drives safer.

The result is a safer driving style and less harsh driving which benefits the car overall.

Running after fuel economy was never and will never be my only agenda. But it helps if you start driving with a controlled adrenalin rush and without the road rage; which is a big advantage for safety of the car and you.
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