ERJ staff report (DS)
London -- A study of drivers, divided into three age groups, suggests that younger drivers don't know how to drive in a way that saves money and fuel. The research suggests this is because they lack the knowledge to do anything about it, and concludes that better education is needed on the topic.
The research looked at the behavioural differences in motorists across three age groups: the Starters (aged 17-24), the Midfielders (aged 25-44) and the Established (aged 45+). Respondents across all age groups were equally concerned about the environment and their impact on it, according to a 28 Oct announcement.
Those studied also showed a desire to save money by using less fuel, citing this as the number one motivation for using the car less, said the survey, commissioned by energyrethinking.org and supported by the Energy Saving Trust, Institute of Directors, Michelin, Shell and Tomorrow's Company.
But, they found Starters are less likely to drive in a way that saves money and fuel. The research suggests this is because they lack the knowledge to do anything about it, pointing out that only 50 percent of Starters were aware of how fuel efficient their cars were,as against more than 70 percent of Established drivers.
Starters are also the most likely to use their cars for short journeys under a mile; care most about the image projected by the car they drive; and show cynicism towards 'green' cars (hybrid/ electric/alternative fuel).
They were also the age group most likely to believe their actions have no impact on the environment and that it is the responsibility of businesses and government to make a difference.
However, lack of information may be a key reason younger drivers are adopting bad habits, the researchers suggest. When informed that grants are available for electric-car ownership, the Starters were the most likely age group to then want to purchase one, the report said.
Nigel Underdown, Head of Transport Advice at the Energy Saving Trust commented: â€œHowever long you have been driving, and whether you care about the environment or are more interested in your back pocket, your driving style makes a huge difference to fuel consumption.
"Where possible we recommend that people use public transport, but we all know that it's not always possible so while we wait for the typical British weather to improve and lure us out of our cars, learn a few smarter driving tips to get the pounds down!â€
To help in this, the EST suggests some of the ways to cut your driving costs include: easing your foot off the accelerator; sticking to the speed limit; being sparing with the air conditioning; avoiding excess idling; anticipating road and traffic conditions; and making sure your tyres are correctly inflated - research from Michelin shows that under inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by 25 percent.
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Press release from Energy Re-thinking