THIS might come as something of a surprise, but it's something we should all be thinking about every time we get in our cars:
Aggressive driving will cost us.
When we say ‘aggressive', we don't mean the road-raging, fist-shaking, baseball-bat-beneath-the-seat aggressive but more the ‘race car driver on the road' kind of aggressive with late and heavy braking, rapid acceleration and general ‘full attack mode' driving style.
What's the problem?
Well, apart from the fact your fellow road users won't like you and your aggressive driving style will probably attract the attention of the local constabulary, aggressive driving can hurt a lot when it comes to increased fuel use.
British insurance company Direct Line recently surveyed some 2000 drivers who, between them, had taken 319,000 individual journeys by car.
Direct Line split the drivers into two groups, ‘sensible' and ‘not sensible' and made some interesting discoveries.
It determined that those with sensible driving styles spent an average of 837 pounds ($1397) a year on fuel while those with aggressive driving habits spent 1399 pounds ($2335) annually, a difference of $938 annually or $78 a month
And that is just taking into account the added fuel costs and doesn't even start to calculate the costs associated with increase wear on things like tyres, brakes or transmissions or take into account the added risk.
So yes, aggressive driving costs can be measured both at the petrol bowser and our own bank balances and even doing something as inoffensive as resting your foot on the brake pedal (also known as ‘riding the brakes') or punching your car forward before quickly braking in stop-start traffic will have a physical cost.
The British study showed that the most aggressive drivers in the study had to fill up every 664 kilometres while the most efficient drivers were able to go 693 miles (1115 kilometres) between fills. Those big trip distance numbers, by the way, are courtesy of the fact more than 50 per cent of Britain's cars are diesel-engined
How much can I save being sensible?
In terms of actually time saved, the survey suggested that aggressive drivers would have to fill their cars 20 times each year while the sensible ones would only have to stop 12 times. We wonder how the differences in accumulated stopping time would compare to time saved on the road using those aggressive driving techniques.
The most attractive aspect of the study though is the fact drivers could save an average 562 pounds ($939) a year on fuel costs alone just by altering their driving habits.
So next time you get the urge to drive like racing drivers Mark Webber or Lewis Hamilton remember three things:
- The first is that you do not have a race to win,
- The second is that even they drive with an eye on the fuel gauge,
- And the third is that you probably don't have quite as big a bank balance as they do.
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