How we waste fuel
It is quite ironic that a major petrol company - Shell, in this case - has to point out how bad we are at wasting fuel.
But, paradoxes aside, the data obtained from a research to commemorate the Shell FuelSave Day is quite useful to highlight wrong driving habits.
The survey of 1,001 drivers concludes that inefficient motorists drive up to 1,845 unnecessary miles per year for different reasons: from avoiding a busy roundabout to going further to find a parking space under a streetlight.
It seems like we don't mind wasting fuel - to the point of leaving the engine running until a favourite song finish on the radio, for some of us.
The main excuse to drive that 'extra mile' is to avoid a busy roundabout, as 42% of drivers participating in he survey do. Then is to find a bigger parking space (27%), a higher floor in a car park where there is more room (22%), to avoid overcrowded areas on the school-run (19%) and to avoid turning right into busy traffic (19%)
They data obtained about SatNavs tell us that they are useful for fuel-saving, but only when they are used with intelligence. A fifth of drivers admit wasting 10 or more miles a month getting lost in their car - so they obviously would be better off with SatNavs.
In contrast, those fundamentalists who trust too much their gadgets avoid well-known shortcuts only to follow what the machine says.
David Wood, a spokesman for Shell said: "Most drivers don't really take much notice of an extra mile here or an extra mile there but may do if they realised how much it all added up to. Shell has a long-standing heritage in helping drivers to save fuel. We have developed Shell FuelSave Regular fuels which are designed to help drivers save fuel and money but there are plenty of other ways in which motorists could save even more if they wanted to, which we hope Shell FuelSave Day will help them to realise."
There also well-known habits that help us to save fuel. According to Shell, these are the most common:
Keep tyres at the right pressure (54%)
Use higher gears (41%)
Avoid hard acceleration (37%)
Keep the boot empty (33%)
Plan a trip carefully and avoid rush hour (32%)
by Noel Hernandez/ cars.co.uk