5 New Year’s Resolutions for Motorists in 2022

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Firework

The New Year is finally here and with its arrival comes the vowing of countless New Year resolutions from across the country. From leading a healthier lifestyle to breaking bad habits, Brits will be trying to make all sorts of changes for the better. As such, we felt it more than fitting to find the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for UK drivers. Read on to see how much of a difference can be made from behind the wheel this year.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “These resolutions can make a significant difference in terms of saving money, emissions and, most importantly, lives. Be sure to stick to them for the best start to 2022!”

1. Slow Down

Speeding Car

The majority of motorists recognise the dangers of speeding, yet few realise the full benefits of slowing down. It’s not only safer, but more cost effective for the driver as well – particularly if travelling on the motorway. Most cars are designed to drive at an optimum speed of about 55mph, which means driving any faster will cost more and generate additional emissions.

As such, driving at an average speed of 80mph on the motorway, as opposed to 60mph, will cost the motorist an additional £3000 in fuel over a lifetime and generate an elephant’s weight in carbon emissions on top of that. Not to mention, any speeding fines are going to add to this cost too!

2. Put Down the Phone

Phone in car

Any habits which distract the driver from the road should be broken immediately, including the handling of smartphones. Even if the driver is merely using the phone to control the music, or program directions into the map, this should never be done whilst driving if it involves handling it.

Being distracted for even a fraction of a second can cause a serious accident, and whilst many are aware of its being a crime, countless motorists are still caught with their phone in their hand. In fact, the DVLA reported that almost 16,000 drivers received points on their licence for using a mobile phone between March and August 2018.

3. Take Care of Your Car

Car repair

Many motorists will avoid car maintenance, including the most basic self-check-ups, and will only address any needs once it turns into a problem. Simple routine inspections, such as checking the tyre pressure, the oil level and the lights, can easily save drivers from an expensive bill down the line.

However, countless drivers still neglect to examine their car and ensure it’s in full-working order. In fact, our recent research found that 1 in 5 drivers ignore their manufacturer’s recommended schedule, whilst 3 in 10 will wait for up to two weeks or more before dealing with a check engine light. Offering a vehicle more care and attention can only save money over time and extend its life.

4. Don’t Idle with Your Engine Running

Engine running

Another great habit to break this year is idling with the engine running. The awareness and discouraging of this habit has risen recently, particularly in London; motorists will now be fined £80 fine if caught idling in Central London, and the City of Westminster introduced a #DontBeIdle pledge to reinforce the capital’s commitment to improving air quality. Not to mention, leaving the engine running is technically illegal; according to Rule 123 of The Highway Code, ‘You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.’

Despite this, countless drivers are still guilty of this habit on a daily basis, particularly during the school run. Indeed, idling for 10 minutes with the engine running on every school day will equate to 1,520m³ of excess fumes a year, which is enough to fill two Jumbo Jets. Even 5 minutes of idling will fill an additional 23 shipping containers with fumes per year!

5. Take a Break

Sleeping in car

One of our recent surveys found that half of UK motorists will only take a break after 3 hours of driving. This is a worrying statistic considering that the Highway Code recommends a minimum respite of 15 minutes after just 2 hours on the road.

Taking regular breaks when travelling long-distance is imperative as the driver will inevitably grow tired, affecting their awareness and increasing the chances of collisions. Even if it’s just pausing to stretch the legs; it’s an opportunity to take a break from the road and refresh. So, as well as vowing to be more active this year, remember to take some healthy breaks too!

Speeding on Motorways Costs Average Driver an Additional £3,000 in Fuel

Next week is the UK’s official Road Safety Week – an annual event which is designed to remind all drivers to take care on the roads and to be aware of speeding. Driving too fast, or indeed too slow, can be dangerous for both motorists and pedestrians. This is why we have researched into the costs of speeding and have found that the average UK driver who travels at 80mph on the motorway will spend an extra £3,064 in fuel over a lifetime, compared to those who travel at 60mph. In addition, those travelling at 80mph will also emit an extra 5.67 tonnes of carbon emission – that’s almost the weight of an elephant in fumes. Read on to find out how you can benefit from taking it slow.

According to gov.uk, UK motorists will travel 7,800 miles per year, 1,638 miles of which will be spent on motorways. Most cars are designed to drive at an optimum speed of around 55mph, after which the fuel consumption becomes less efficient and the miles per gallon decreases. As such, the faster the speeding, the more the driver spends on fuel. Based on a typical Fiat 500 and a fuel cost of £1.20 per litre, a UK driver will spend an additional £482 on fuel over their driving lifetime by just increasing their speed on the motorway from 60mph to 65mph. With greater speed, 5mph makes a more significant impact on the fuel consumption; the extra cost more than triples when driving at 70mph with £1,491, after which 75mph costs an additional £2,288. Averaging 80mph on the motorway totals a 35% increase in fuel costs when compared to 60mph, as such it will cost an extra 2.5 pence per mile and a further £3,064 over a driver’s lifetime.

Elephant

Looking at the additional emissions, these too build up with greater speed. The first 5mph increase to 65mph will add an extra 0.63 tonnes of carbon emissions over a lifetime, which is heavier than a polar bear. 70mph then shows a severe increase to 2.52 tonnes (almost the weight of two cars) and 75mph builds up to 3.78 tonnes, or over 8 grand pianos. The 20mph increase to 80mph will generate a further 5.67 tonnes of emissions over a driver’s life which, as mentioned earlier, equates to the weight of an elephant.

More costs will accrue with speed, such as the greater wear of certain car parts, or, more obviously, speeding fines. However, looking at the results, even dropping from 70mph to 65mph will have a huge effect on the overall cost of fuel and emissions.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “Speeding along an empty motorway can be tempting, however, with greater speed comes a longer reaction time and so it can obviously be dangerous for yourself and other drivers, not to mention you’re breaking the law. That being said, driving too slowly is not safe either and can also lead to accidents. Always maintain a healthy speed on the road and be aware of those around you. It can save on money, emissions and, most importantly, lives.”