AS YOU climb into your car for yet another joyous trip to see family and friends, it is worth reflecting upon recent findings from the tyre provider Kwik Fit.
It is estimated that the UK’s drivers will cover approximately 3.5billion miles over Christmas and New Year this year. Sat, as I have been, on the M6, I can well believe it. I feel like I have done half of them myself!
The average motorist will clock up just over 116 miles during the festive period, and some three per cent of drivers will add more than 500 miles to their car’s mileage.
But 3.5billion miles. Wow! How many of those miles could be driven more efficiently to save fuel and climate change impacts? I have an “eco” setting on the family car and I can save about nine per cent of fuel by changing the engine settings and being less harsh when accelerating.
I won’t bore you with the calculations but that equates to about £10million that could be spent on other things, rather than fuel, if everyone saved nine per cent on their fuel over the festive season by driving more efficiently.
I know that not everyone gets the climate change stuff I worry myself about. I understand that and I am OK with it. I do not, however, understand how we can continue to throw away millions of pounds of hard-earned money by driving vehicles harshly and wasting petrol and diesel.
You will see people today, out on the roads, wanting to get to Great Aunt Mable’s, driving like their lives depend on every second they can shave off their journey time. Having four children, I hear your cries of “the sooner the journey is over, the better” but we both know that your argument falls down.
I believe I have seen slower and better driving start to emerge as people get to grips with speed cameras, better information about bad weather, and smaller engines in cars for economic reasons.
Long may that continue. You’ll be better off financially and arriving a few minutes late for Great Aunt Mable is, perhaps, a blessing, too.