Vehicle engineering has seen significant advances in the past 30 years, with the introduction of improved safety measures such as
- seat belts
- anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
- electronic stability control (ESC)
- independent vehicle safety testing
Vehicle manufacturers have also invested heavily in the research and development of technology that
- helps a driver to avoid collision
- protects the occupants of a vehicle as much as possible in the event of a collision.
More pressure has been put onto Companies, to improve driving, and more detailed reports regarding eco-driving. A lot of companies do have monitoring equipment in vehicles, recording driving behaviours, which may or may not used to your benefit. We also recommend to read about Eco-Driving before reading this article, and more importantly get yourself on one of our Driver CPC courses, where we can teach you to be more efficient, and improve your driving skills, performance, etc
Have you noticed whether the technology in your vehicle has led to a change in the way you drive? Do you feel safer and therefore take more risks?
Do you drive differently in new vehicles that you know have state-of-the-art safety systems and gadgets?
What you need to know
You need to recognise good driving practice and to know that this has an effect on the stability, efficiency and fuel economy of the vehicle you are driving.
You also need to understand how the load you’re transporting will ‘move’ within the vehicle when you brake, accelerate and steer away from a straight line – for example, when cornering or negotiating roundabouts.
REMEMBER THIS! – SAFED – Safe and fuel-efficient driving
You should know
- the basic principles of SAFED
- How to use the controls to maximise fuel efficiency. Only by understanding the characteristics of the drive and transmission system can you make efficient use of it. For example, you should understand how to use
- (I) the green band on the rev counter
- (ii) block gear changing (skipping or missing out gears on either up or down changes)
- (iii) the most appropriate gears generally
- how to read and make best use of the on-board fuel consumption monitors
- the effect on vehicle safety of
- (I) cruise- and speed-control equipment
- (ii) smooth use of the accelerator
- (iii) appropriate use of the brakes (including retarders/exhaust brakes)
- how to use the safety controls in order to
- (I) control the vehicle
- (ii) minimise wear and tear
- (iii) avoid mechanical failures
To receive SAFED training you must
- hold a valid driving licence including category C or C+E entitlements
- ideally undertake the training in a vehicle fitted with fuel-monitoring equipment.
As a training module, SAFED meets the relevant syllabus area of Driver CPC.